How Florida compares with other states and the nation in AP Computer Science

AP Computer Science is certainly not the only programming course that high schools in Florida offer.  But it is the top-of-the-line course, and it is one that we can use to compare Florida to other states.  With the two op-eds recently published in the Tallahassee Democrat on K-12 computer science education (mine criticizing the State Board of Education for adopting K-12 computer science standards without any other actions, and one from SBOE Vice Chair John Padget responding and laying out a plan for advancing K-12 computing education in the state) and the attention the exchange got from Tampa Bay Times reporter Jeff Solochek, I thought I’d post a ranking of the states by the number of passing AP Computer Science exam scores posted in 2015 per 1000 high school students.

As you can see below, Florida is well below the national rate, but close to the middle of the ranking.  However, it’s 2016, and middle of the pack isn’t good enough any more.

I will note that John Padget funds the Monroe Compute$ initiative that I highlighted in my piece.  That is, he puts his money and his effort where his mouth is.  In my opinion, that gives him a significant amount of authority on this subject.

The data on which the plot is based come from two sources.  One is the state summaries that the College Board posts every year.  The other is the the Digest of Education Statistics at the National Center for Education Statistics.  The number of high school students in each state came from the number of public school students projected for 2015.  The discerning reader will note that the AP statistics include private school students, but I am using public school enrollment numbers because they were all I could put my hands (or my mouse) on.  I believe the rankings are valid, anyway.

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