CISE Announce: A Milestone for Computer Science Education

May 17, 2017

This message was sent to the CISE Announce Listserv on Friday, May 5, 2017

 Dear Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) Community,
Today marks an important milestone for computer science (CS) education:  more than 50,000 students across the country are taking the all-new Advanced Placement® (AP®) Computer Science Principles (CSP) exam – the result of the largest course launch in the AP’s 60-year history.  The first-ever administration of this exam marks the culmination of nearly a decade of leadership and funding by the National Science Foundation (NSF), together with the work of many individuals and organizations across the Nation.  Indeed, many of you – researchers and educators throughout the CISE community – have contributed to the development and piloting of CSP, which is helping provide rigorous and engaging CS education to all students in the U.S.
As we mark this milestone, we want to take a moment to thank and congratulate the CISE community for all the hard work and thought leadership that contributed to the successful launch of today’s AP CSP exam!  This effort required the collaboration of researchers, teachers, administrators, parents, nonprofit organizations, corporations, and the public – thank you all!  We especially want to acknowledge NSF’s Jan Cuny for her passionate and unyielding vision and leadership over the last decade; and Owen Astrachan, Amy Briggs, and Lien Diaz, who since 2009 have led the NSF-funded project that resulted in the AP CSP framework.  In addition, we thank the many faculty and teachers who served on the College Board’s CSP Commission and Advisory Boards, as well as those who piloted CSP over these last few years.  Their work has helped ensure that the course is evidence-based; reflects what we know about how students learn; builds students’ transferable, conceptual understanding and inquiry skills; and conveys the content and unifying concepts of CS.  Your collective efforts, combined with those of numerous public and private partners such as, the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), CSforAll Consortium, National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), Project Lead The Way (PLTW), New York City Foundation for Computer Science (CSNYC), Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN), and InfoSys Foundation USA – to name just a few – have ensured that CS teachers have the professional development and support they need to teach CSP.
As we mark today’s accomplishment, we also recognize that our work in CS education is not complete.  We must continue to grow the knowledge base and cultivate partnerships to provide all U.S. students with the opportunity to participate in CS education at the K-12 levels.  And we must work to meet the surging demand for CS, in its many forms, at colleges and universities across the country.  By continuing to work together, we will empower a generation of computationally- and data-savvy leaders with the fundamental skills of computer science and computational thinking that they need to succeed in the 21st-century digital world.
Again, congratulations to all on this significant milestone for CS education!
Jim and Erwin
Jim Kurose
Assistant Director of NSF for CISE
Erwin Gianchandani
Deputy Assistant Director of NSF for CISE



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