2014 AP Computer Science Exam Lacks Female and Minority Participation

column | Coding

2014 AP Computer Science Exam Lacks Female and Minority Participation

Dec 23, 2014

A BUG IN THE SYSTEM: Remember 2014, when reports revealed that three states--Mississippi, Montana, and Wyoming--had no girls take the 2013 A.P. Computer Science exam? Looks like there have been a few improvements, but for the most part, there's still a lack in minority and female representation in a number of states. EdWeek reports that once again, Montana and Wyoming both had zero female students take the exam, while Mississippi and North Dakota both had only one. Furthermore, among the 49 states in which at least one student took the A.P. exam, 12 had zero black students participate this year--up from 11 states the previous year.

But there is a silver lining: of the 34 AP subject exams administered in 2014, computer science experienced the highest annual growth rate. The number of exams administered increased by 26 percent to 39,278, according to the College Board. Edweek also notes that, overall, "participation rates for female, Hispanic, and black students increased at even higher rates, with the number of test-takers in these groups growing by more than one-third from 2013 to 2014."

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