Two Dozen High Schools Across Chicago Public Schools Earn AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award
23 January 2023
Recipients Recognized for Closing Gender Gap in Computer Science Education
CHICAGO – Two dozen Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high schools earned the 2022 College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in Advanced Placement computer science courses. The 2021-22 School Year also marked the third consecutive year that female and non-binary students comprised the majority of AP Computer Science Principles exam takers throughout the District. Schools honored with the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award maximized their commitment to computer science education by expanding girls’ access to AP computer science courses, specifically in AP Computer Science A (CSA) and AP Computer Science Principles (CSP).
“I am thrilled to recognize the incredible work of CPS educators and students in earning national recognition for increasing gender diversity in computer science education,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “Our schools are committed to providing high-quality computer science education to all students, regardless of gender. Today, we can see the fruits of that commitment as 24 CPS schools are recognized for closing the gender gap and building a foundation for student success both in and outside the classroom.”
The following schools achieved either 50 percent or higher female representation in at least one of the two AP computer science courses or the percentage of the female computer science exam takers met or exceeded that of the school’s female population during the 2021-22 school year:
- Aspira Business and Finance High School
- Aspira Early College High School
- Austin College & Career Academy High School*
- Back of the Yards High School*
- Chicago Academy High School*
- CICS Northtown Academy
- Curie Metropolitan High School*
- Greater Lawndale High School for Social Justice*
- Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep Academy*
- Hyde Park Academy High School*
- Intrinsic Schools – Belmont Campus
- Intrinsic Schools – Downtown Campus
- ITW David Speer Academy
- Bowen High School*
- Hancock College Prep High School*
- Johnson College Prep
- Jones College Prep High School*
- Lane Tech College Prep High School*
- Mansueto High School
- North-Grand High School*
- Phoenix STEM Military Academy*
- Taft High School*
- UChicago Charter School – Woodlawn Campus
- Walter Payton College Prep High School*
- *District-run schools are denoted with an asterisk.
CPS was an early adopter of the AP computer science program, serving as a pilot district in 2014. Since the AP CPS exam became available in 2017, 7658 CPS students have taken the AP CSP exam, with 51.1 percent of 2022 test-takers identifying as female or non-binary, well above the national average of 33.3 percent. Overall, participation of female and non-binary students increased by 69 percent in the AP CSP exam since 2017 and by 19 percent in the AP CSA exam over the same period.
“We’re excited to receive this award, not just for the amazing students and teachers at North-Grand, but for so many other schools across the District,” said North-Grand High School Principal Emily Feltes. “Supporting and empowering female students is fundamental to providing equitable education in our schools, and I’m incredibly proud of the work my colleagues are doing throughout CPS to make that a reality for our students.”
According to a Google study, 54 percent of female computer science majors took AP CSA in high school. College Board research about AP CSP also finds AP CSP students are nearly twice as likely to enroll in AP CSA, and that for most students, AP CSP serves as a stepping stone to other advanced AP STEM coursework.
These findings highlight the importance of schools nationwide achieving gender parity in AP computer science classrooms. Across the nation, female students remain underrepresented in high school computer science classes, accounting for just 33 percent of AP Computer Science Principles participants and 25 percent of AP Computer Science A participants. Currently, 51 percent of high schools teach foundational computer science. Within CPS, all students receive foundational computer science education before graduation. CPS remains the only large urban district in the country with a high school computer science graduation requirement.
About Chicago Public Schools Chicago Public Schools serves more than 322,000 students in 635 schools. It is the nation’s fourth-largest school district.