An examination of the factors correlating with course failure in a high school computer science course

April 2019


Steven McGee

The Learning Partnership

Ronald I. Greenberg

Loyola University Chicago

Lucia Dettori

Chicago Public Schools

Andrew M. Rasmussen

Chicago Public Schools

Erica Wheeler

Chicago Public Schools

Randi McGee-Tekula

The Learning Partnership

Jennifer Duck

The Learning Partnership

Enrollment in high school computer science (CS) courses is increasing but generally not with even distribution across race and gender. The Chicago Public Schools has sought to ensure equitable access by enacting CS as high school graduation requirement. Exploring Computer Science (ECS) is the primary course that fulfills the requirement. It is an introductory course fostering deep engagement through equitable inquiry around CS concepts. Providing students with support for succeeding in ECS is critical so that students can graduate from high school. We examine the factors correlating with student failure in the course and find evidence for the importance of engaging teachers in professional development, in conjunction with requiring a course specifically designed to provide an equitable computer science experience.

Suggested Citation

Steven McGee, Ronald I. Greenberg, Lucia Dettori, Andrew M. Rasmussen, Erica Wheeler, Randi McGee-Tekula, and Jennifer Duck. An examination of factors correlating with course failure in a high school computer science course. In American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, April 2019. Toronto, ON.