Equity in computer science education vital for California.

By Julie Flapan, published Oct. 15, 2015 in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

I learned an unexpected lesson about education reform while watching my kids compete to build the tallest LEGO tower. My youngest stacks one LEGO on top of the next, making it the tallest – for a split second – before it tumbles to the ground. My older child, having experienced this loss several times, crafts a sturdy base to sustain the tower above, making it the tallest and most long-lasting. This “scaffolding” provides a strong base of support, so that no matter how high the tower grows, it has a solid foundation from which to build.

As an education equity advocate, I’m reminded of the importance of scaffolding as New York City and other large urban school districts like Chicago and San Francisco are making ambitious plans to scale up computer science education so that it’s available to all students.

Computer science has become the latest “shiny new thing” in education. Computer science is driving innovation across all industry sectors, yet, Silicon Valley is lamenting low diversity numbers in their workforce, and high numbers of underprepared job applicants.