The AP Computer Science description: emphasizes object-oriented programming methodology with an emphasis on problem solving and algorithm development and is meant to be the equivalent of a first-semester course in computer science. It also includes the study of data structures and abstraction.
Click here to see the full AP course description and outline
At one time, almost all high schools had advanced computer science offerings and many still do. When I went to college a Basic Programming class was required. I am not sure, but I would guess that over the years, with the inventions of click ready programs, these types of requirements have fallen off.
Why are we looking back in this direction? The why, is that there are jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities available in this field for our future graduates. Manipulation of data is only going to become more important as we go forward. One glaring example is to, while driving to Madison, observe the growth of EPIC. Of course, medical data is only one example. Everything from accounting to zoology is using computerized algorithms of some sort to operate or do research. Agriculture is using GIS and advanced program technologies to become more efficient. Machine tool operations are increasingly more technical, even at the entry levels. Etc., etc.
This Computer Science knowledge base should not, nor cannot, be limited to only a select few people. A report, already somewhat dated as it was released in 2005, entitled The New Educational Imperative: Improving High School Computer Science Education; Final Report of the Curriculum Improvement Task Force (CSTA), stated “The body of research from around the world relating to high school computer science education indicates that learning computer science provides direct benefits to students. While there are distinct differences between how various countries implement their high school computer science programs, a growing number of countries already require computer science education of all high school students.”
Click here to see full CSTA report.
So, now that we have the what, when, how, and the why with regard to offering AP Computer Science outlined; the discussion is now open and moving on to the who and where this will be accomplished.
This potential addition of AP Computer Science increases rigorous and relevant offerings for PdC Public students, and it is another step that achieves the goal of exceeding consistently increasing expectations of excellence. AP Computer Science will add to the extensive PdC Public High School AP offerings which now total 14 different AP classes and for 2013-2014 will expand to 18 offerings as the plan is to add 4 more AP classes for next fall.