Equity & Diversity Report Roundup

Achievement Gaps

By Liana Loewus — January 22, 2014 1 min read

In Mississippi and Montana, no female, African-American, or Hispanic students took the Advanced Placement exam for computer science in 2013, finds a new analysis of test-taking data.

In fact, no African-American students took the exam in a total of 11 states, and no Hispanic students took it in eight states, according to state comparisons of College Board data compiled by Barbara Ericson, the director of computing outreach and a senior research scientist at Georgia Tech.

The College Board, which oversees the AP, notes on its website that in 2013 about 30,000 students took the AP exam for computer science, a course in which students learn to design and create computer programs. Less than 20 percent of those students were female, about 3 percent were African-American, and 8 percent were Hispanic.

The breakdown of the test-takers comes at a time when the College Board has stepped up its focus on seeing that traditionally underrepresented groups of students have access to AP courses and tests.

A version of this article appeared in the January 22, 2014 edition of Education Week as Achievement Gaps

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