Richland Two schools closing gender gap in computer science

February 3, 2021

Blythewood and Ridge View High schools are being recognized by the College Board for their work to close the gender equity gap in computer science. Blythewood and Ridge View will receive the AP Computer Science Principles Female Diversity Award. They are among only 831 schools nationwide to be recognized for closing the gender gap and expanding young women’s access to computer science coursework in AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) during the 2019-2020 school year.

To address the underrepresentation of Black, Hispanic, and female students in computer science courses, majors, and careers, the College Board launched AP Computer Science Principles in the 2016-2017 school year. This course is designed to change the invitation and to attract students from a broader range of groups to computer science.

According to the College Board, new research shows AP CSP students are nearly twice as likely (14.3 percentage points more likely) to enroll in AP Computer Science A (AP CSA) compared to similar students who went to high school before AP CSP launched. College Board reports this result holds for female, Hispanic, and first-generation students, and is even larger for Black AP CSP students, who are three times more likely to later enroll in AP CSA if they have taken AP CSP.

In August 2019, Richland Two Superintendent Dr. Baron R. Davis and his administration presented a policy on equity to the school board. Trustees approved the ACB Equity Policy as a statement of commitment to providing access to resources and support needed for student success. Having this policy in place ensures district administration uses an equity lens to improve achievement outcomes for all students, and narrow achievement gaps between disaggregated student groups.

Blythewood and Ridge View are among 15 schools statewide to receive the AP Computer Science Principles Female Diversity Award from the College Board.