Newsom’s hope is that the shift will encourage California high schools — which frequently tailor their curriculum to reflect what the UC system requires — to beef up their computer science offerings.
Turning computer science into a core requirement could eventually pull more women and people of color into those classes at a younger age, and help diversify the talent pool in an industry dominated by whites, Asians and men.
Last year, fewer than 9,000 California high school students took the AP Computer Science exam, according to Newsom’s office. A little more than one quarter were women, fewer than 1,000 were Latino, and only 148 were African American...
Michael Nobleza, the national director for Oakland’s Yes We Code, a tech skills training program for low-opportunity young people, said this proposal would “help broaden the pipeline” by introducing more students to computer sciences.
“Only those who are drawn to computer sciences — who are usually white and Asian students, because they see themselves succeeding in it — are taking them,” Nobleza said Dec. 2 after reviewing Newsom’s letter. “Overall this could bring in more students of color.”
UC already does “consider some computer sciences classes as meeting the math requirement,” university spokeswoman Dianne Klein said Wednesday after reviewing Newsom’s letter. “Others, that do not have sufficient math, are considered electives.”
Source: eSchool News