Julie Flapan: Ensuring Equity in Computer Science Education

Executive director of ACCESS co-writes op-ed on how equity in CS education will diversify technology fields.

Julie Flapan, director of the Director of the Computer Science Equity Project at UCLA’s Center X, co-wrote an op-ed for The Hill on the urgent need for equitable computer science education in order to bring diversity to the technology fields. 

“In California, the tech capital of the world, only 39 percent of its high schools offer computer science courses, and just 3 percent of California’s 1.9 million high school students took a computer science course in 2017,” writes Flapan with co-author, Allison Scott, chief research officer, Kapor Center for Social Impact. “Computer science is often only offered in high-income areas with less diverse student populations. Students of color, rural students, and low-income students are much less likely to have access to these foundational courses or to be actively engaged in them. Despite significant efforts from national, state and local leaders, agencies, and organizations, these trends are similar across every state. By the end of high school, only a select few students have developed foundational computing skills and knowledge needed to pursue degrees and careers in computing-related fields.”

Flapan is the executive director of the Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS), an organization dedicated to advocating for high-quality and accessible K-12 computer science education in California. She previously served as the director of civic engagement at the UCLA Institute for Democracy, Education and Access.

To read the full commentary in The Hill, visit this link.