2800+ Oakland Unified students enrolled in Computer Science in 2016–17

Claire Shorall
Sep 12, 2016 · 2 min read

Oakland’s public schools are aware of lacking diversity in tech and are taking action. Instead of simply broadening the pipeline, the Oakland Unified School District has dug an entirely new trench, thus laying the groundwork to teach all students computer science — an agency-creating course necessary for access, sustainability, and choice in the 21st century. This growth is due to collaboration with industry (Intel, Salesforce, SAP), nonprofit, and government entities, and a district-wide partnership with Code.org.

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Sharing Oakland Unified’s growth at EdSurge’s Tech for School Summit, 9/9/16. Photo credit: John Krull

Listed below are some of the highlight’s from this year’s Computer Science expansion:

  • This year, 2853 OUSD secondary students are enrolled in CS. This is up from 685 in 2015–16, representing an over 400% increase in enrollment in CS courses across the district.
  • In middle school, 621 students are enrolled in CS, a nearly 4x increase from last year. A recent gift from Salesforce has fueled much of this growth.
  • As a result of a commitment from OUSD’s high schools, 1686 freshmen are enrolled in Exploring Computer Science. Last year, that number was 119. This means that there are 14x the number of students who will be prepared for the rigor of a STEM pathway as compared to last year.
  • In 2015–16, 33 OUSD students took an AP computer science course. In 2016–17, that number is 361, an 11x increase. Many of these students are taking advantage of the College Board’s new course, AP Computer Science Principles.

The work is far from done. In particular, training of K-5 educators, flushing out a middle school curricular sequence, and strengthening high school college-and-career preparatory pathways stay top of mind. Oakland public schools — and their students — are excited, however, to be forging an equitable path towards opportunities in tech.

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