Governor Hutchinson’s Weekly Address: Setting the Pace in Computer Science Education
To be exact, the number of Arkansas high school students taking at least one computer science course is 10,450. That is an increase of six-and-a-half percent over the last school year and nearly 850 percent increase over the 1,100 students who were enrolled six years ago.
We showed improvement in other areas as well. For the first time in Arkansas, the percentage of African American students who are taking a computer science class exceeds the percentage of all African American students enrolled in Arkansas high schools. Also for the first time, the percentage of all minority students taking a high school computer science course exceeds the percentage of all minority students enrolled in our high schools.
In addition, we continue to show tremendous growth in the number of girls who are taking computer science. When we started this initiative, 223 girls were enrolled in a computer science class. This year, the Arkansas Department of Education reports that the number has jumped to 3,135. That is a 1,300 percent increase over 2014.
Many publications and tech organizations, such as Code.org, have recognized Arkansas as a leader in computer science education. But we can’t rest on our success, which is why I’m working with the Arkansas General Assembly to