EAGER: Developing an Equity-Driven, Collaborative, Inquiry-Based Online Computer Science Option for Credit Recovery and Incarcerated Youth in Urban Settings

(Hybrid ECS for Credit Recovery)

October 2018

Researchers


Steven McGee

The Learning Partnership

Lucia Dettori

Chicago Public Schools

Andrew Rasmussen

Chicago Public Schools

Kirsten Peterson

Education Development Center

The Learning Partnership in collaboration with Education Development Center (EDC), the Chicago Public School District (CPS) and the Chicago Alliance for Equity in Computer Science (CAFECS), proposes to address a significant and urgent need for CPS to provide an online version of the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) program. ECS is designed to introduce students to the breadth of the field of computer science through an exploration of engaging and accessible topics. Its success in CPS led CPS to become the first major city to enact a high school computer science (CS) graduation requirement. An implication of that policy is that students who fail their CS class will need to make it up in order to graduate. This proposed work will use a Researcher Practitioner Partnership (RPP) approach to begin the development of an online version of ECS that can be used for credit recovery.

An analysis of student ECS course failure shows that the typical CPS student who will need to recover the CS credit is most likely to be a 10th, 11th or 12th grade Hispanic or African American male student with low academic performance and relatively high rates of absences. The very strong ECS focus on equitable and culturally relevant approaches to pedagogy, the strong partnership that already exists between the Learning Partnership, CPS, and CAFECS, the paucity of existing research on how to support online credit recovery, and the urgency of developing credit recovery options for current students, all combine to provide a unique opportunity to develop an online version of ECS that builds on our knowledge of how best to support for struggling, urban CS students.

The lack of existing research on credit recovery represents a significant risk. However, if the project team is successful, this model has the potential for high reward: a high-quality option for students seeking credit recovery, as well as those who are incarcerated or homeless, or otherwise struggle to have an equitable experience to that of their peers.

This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Citation

EAGER: Developing an Equity-Driven, Collaborative, Inquiry-Based Online Computer Science Option for Credit Recovery and Incarcerated Youth in Urban Settings. National Science Foundation, Oct 2018 – Sep 2020, $299,983. CNS-1842085 PI Steven McGee (The Learning Partnership); Co-PIs Lucia Dettori (CPS), Andrew Rasmussen (CPS), Kirsten Peterson (EDC).