While the Florida State Board of Education has taken the almost entirely symbolic step of approving standards for K-12 computer science instruction, the growth in AP computer science enrollments in the state’s public high schools has leveled off.
From 2013 (the earliest year for which the FLDOE has posted course enrollment information) to 2015, spring semester enrollments in AP Computer Science classes hosted by district schools grew by more than 300 students per year, from 1,234 in the Spring of 2013 to 1,968 in the Spring of 2015. Enrollment in the Florida Virtual School AP Computer Science course was even more rapid proportionally, rising from 131 in the Spring of 2013 to 490 in the Spring of 2015.
But this school year, AP Computer Science enrollments have leveled off. In the district schools, 2,006 students were taking the course this spring, while the FLVS enrollment number remained at 490.
It’s not clear from the numbers whether the halt in enrollment growth was caused by a shortage of teachers or a lack of interest by districts, schools or students.
What is clear is that fewer than 2% of the graduates of Florida’s public high schools have taken AP Computer Science. Computer science is one of the most lucrative college majors, according to a report released last year by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.