Expanding computer science (CS) education is of vital importance to the United States. The scope of this challenge is demonstrated in the National Science Foundation’s “CS10K” vision. CS10K seeks to have rigorous academic CS courses in 10,000 high schools taught by 10,000 teachers by 2016. If the nation is going to achieve this goal and realize quality CS education across the country, our strategy needs to be grounded in understandings of our current capacity. Building on this foundation, CS education advocates will be able to identify the next steps to prepare, develop, and support all levels of CS teachers and advocate for the continued expansion and improvement of CS education.
The “Building an Operating System for Computer Science” (OS4CS) study was designed as a collaborative research and communication effort to establish a more comprehensive understanding of our nation’s current high school computer science (CS) teaching population, the support they have, and contexts in which they teach. The University of Chicago’s Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education (CEMSE) and Urban Education Institute (UEI) worked with a partnership established by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) that includes the National Science Foundation (NSF), Google, the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), Microsoft, and the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) to provide a wide range of information and guidance that would inform and shape CS education efforts.