How Exploring Computer Science (ECS) came to Chicago
Early in 2011, we sat glumly around a table in Chicago, pondering our second NSF grant proposal rejection. We were working to enhance computer science (CS) education in Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Many of the CS courses in the approximately 120 high schools at the time consisted primarily of learning basic word-processing and spreadsheet commands. We had discovered the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) curriculum that we thought would engage students, but were stuck trying to sell the idea. It was at this turning point that wae agreed that, funding or not, we were going to provide a compelling and relevant CS course for every CPS high school student. We saw it not only as economically expedient, but also as a justice issue for our students.