Posted by Jake Baskin on Oct 14, 2019

Voice - the voice of K-12 computer science education and it's educators

CSTA is proud to announce the organization was awarded a $3 million grant from the United States Department of Education.

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CSTA is proud to announce the organization was awarded a $3 million grant from the United States Department of Education. This grant was announced by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos as part of $123 million awarded via the Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program.
With this funding, CSTA will continue its work toward closing the equity gap through a new initiative – Computer Science for English Learners (CSforEL): Increasing Participation and Achievement in Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles for English Learners. CSforEL will work toward developing a system, school, and teacher capacity to improve AP CSP access and success for students currently and formerly designated as ELs in high schools in San Diego County, California; New Mexico; and Arizona. 
“I am beyond excited that we have been awarded these funds,” said Jake Baskin, Executive Director of CSTA. “We know there are profound equity gaps in computer science, but the opportunity gaps in CS for English learners are often more profound. With these funds, we’ll be able to work toward building a framework that closes this gap.” 
CSforEL will be a professional development partnership of CSTA, the California Reading and Literature Project, UC San Diego’s  Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) as well as the university’s , San Diego Education Research Alliance (SanDERA housed in the Economics Department and), its Education Studies Department. This multi-disciplinary partnership integrates various disciplines to develop and study EL and CS instructional practices and leverage a strong CS network into organized Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) across the Southwestern United States.
“UC San Diego has long been a champion of broadening participation in Computer Science for All students and this grant represents a wonderful new partnership and opportunity for our campus to further the field in how to provide CS opportunities to learn in powerful ways to some of our most vulnerable high school students,” said Susan Yonezawa, Associate Director of UC San Diego’s CREATE. 
“CSTA chapters are the community that supports professional learning for CS teachers,” said Baskin. “There simply aren’t enough CS teachers in any one school to support site-based PLCs. Our chapters will fill this void.” 
This project is unique in its attention to several aspects of the educational system that might constrain English learners’ engagement in advanced CS courses. By working with counselors and administrators, the partnership will develop course placement practices that facilitate ELs’ access to rigorous courses, and by collaborating with teachers to create linguistically rich computer science learning environments, we can strengthen English learners opportunities in them. In working across levels, we will acknowledge and engage ELs’ assets and strengths in ways that foster CS learning for all students.