Program has already reached 246 schools and trained more than 450 teachers
Goal of universal access to computer science education for 1.1 million students ahead of progress
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships, announced today that Mayor de Blasio’s Computer Science for All (CS4All) initiative has raised $20 million in private funding. The fundraising campaign is half-way toward meeting a $40 million goal that will ultimately be matched in public funding for one of the cornerstones of the Mayor’s Equity and Excellence education reforms.
Today, 246 elementary, middle and high schools across the city are participating in CS4All. More than 450 teachers are receiving rigorous training to bring computer science instruction to their schools. CS4All gives students the computational thinking, problem solving and critical thinking skills necessary for college and professional success. Last September, the Mayor announced that the City would be bringing the program to every elementary, middle, and high school by 2025.
“Last year we announced an ambitious plan to bring computer science education to every public school student by 2025 – making New York City the largest school district in the country to do so. Today, we are announcing real strides in completing our goal,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The city’s tech industry is growing, yet before Computer Science for All, fewer than five percent of our public school students had even the most basic skills necessary to apply for these jobs. Through this program, we’re laying the groundwork today so that our kids can apply for these jobs .”
The initiative is a model for effective public-private partnerships, with the City of New York and the private sector bearing programmatic costs equally. Today the Mayor announced new commitments from: Math for America (MƒA); Robin Hood Education and Technology Fund, co-chaired by David Siegel and John Overdeck; Paulson Family Foundation; Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.; the Hutchins Family Foundation; Association for a Better New York and the Rudin Family Foundation; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Ron Conway, Founder, SV Angel; and Nancy and Alan Schwartz. Founding partners Fred Wilson and CSNYC, Robin Hood and the AOL Charitable Foundation, as well as early investment from AT&T that helped make the initiative possible. Public dollars support the infrastructure and human capital needed to pull off what is the largest effort of its kind. Private dollars support the training of nearly 5,000 teachers over the next ten years. These funds are overseen and administered by the New York City Fund for Public Schools.
“Computer Science for All is a cornerstone of equity and excellence in our public schools – these are the skills our students need to be successful in high school, college, and careers in the 21st century,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “This isn’t just for particular students from particular backgrounds; learning how to think critically and computationally, and how to create with technology, must be for all students. I thank our private partners for recognizing the importance of this initiative and for their investment.”
"The Mayor’s vision for New York City schools will put a new generation on the path toward success,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships. “Through this landmark public-private partnership, we will level the playing field for every student in every borough. Computer Science for All is an investment in creating opportunities for all of our young people, particularly in a global economy where technology is integral to every industry.”
Through the implementation of this ten-year initiative, New York City will be the largest school district in the country to provide computer science education to all students, particularly populations underrepresented in tech including girls, African-American and Latino students and students from low-income families. Most students in public schools traditionally either lack access to computer science or gain these skills too late. Early and widespread exposure to computer science is key to breaking down gender and racial barriers, leading to greater diversity and equality in the tech sector and relevant industries. The initiative promotes critical skills like thinking creatively, working as a team, and interacting with technology, as well as technical skills that will power the 21st century economy.
Computer science education at the scale of New York City’s public school system, encompassing 1.1 million students, will allow a new generation to be active creators of technology. By expanding access to computer science throughout NYC public schools, CS4All will also promote the cultivation of local and diverse talent for the City’s own workforce, including technology, and have a ripple effect across the country, where only a quarter of professional computing jobs are held by women and less than ten percent are held by African-Americans and Latinos.
Of the 246 schools participating in Computer Science for All programs, 98 are offering full-year courses or multi-year sequences including AP Computer Science Principles, the Software Engineering Program (SEP) and the SEP Jr. program for elementary schools. Teachers from the remaining schools have participated in the “CS Track” of the Department of Education’s STEM Institute and received intensive training to implement rigorous, hands-on CS lessons and units in their schools. Through teachers’ participation in these programs, students in elementary, middle and high school will learn the fundamentals of computer science, such as coding, robotics and web design.
By 2025, all New York City public school students will receive at least one meaningful, high-quality computer science unit or course at each school level: elementary, middle, and high school. The centerpiece of the initiative is the training of nearly 5,000 teachers who will, by year ten, bring computer science to more than 245,000 students each year.
Importantly, many of these students will be prepared to fill the 200,000 additional technology jobs that New York City’s employers will create over the next decade while all graduates will be equipped with soft skills needed to successfully navigate the 21st century economy. Together, the Equity and Excellence initiatives will support progress across all schools so that, by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time, two-thirds of graduates are college ready and all students are reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade. More information on Equity and Excellence is available online.