Helping to solve problems in the classroom, community and workforce.

The Chicago Alliance For Equity in Computer Science (CAFÉCS) is a Researcher-Practitioner Partnership that places the accent on equity in computer science (CS) education in Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

The Chicago Alliance for Equity in Computer Science (CAFÉCS) is a researcher-practitioner partnership (RPP) among Chicago Public Schools (CPS) administrators, university computer science faculty from University of Illinois at Chicago, DePaul University and Loyola University Chicago, and educational researchers from The Learning Partnership.CAFÉCS’ mission is to engage in research and development that enables CPS to ensure that all students in Chicago participate in engaging, relevant, and rigorous computing experiences, increase opportunities for all students to pursue computing pathways and prepare all students for the future of work.

A key effort is supporting the implementation of  Exploring Computer Science (ECS) and the AP Computer Science Principal (CSP) courses through teacher professional development. ECS and CSP are designed to provide all students with a robust introduction to computer science regardless of their prior computing experiences. They teach students the valuable skills of problem solving, computational thinking and managing complexity through abstraction, to help them solve problems in the classroom, community and workforce.

Given that computer science is a graduation requirement in CPS, it is critical to ensure that all students successfully complete an introductory computer science course. We are eager to collaborate around strategies for promoting equity in the computer science classroom, instructional strategies, and online PD learning communities to bolster the effectiveness of these courses. In addition, CAFÉCS’s efforts are constantly adapting to the current environment, education challenges, and students’ needs – like offering in-person and hybrid remote formats of ECS courses – in order to best emphasize an equity mindset and deliver successful instructional practices.