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Strategy and Implementation of District-wide Computer Science Initiatives


Keywords: Computer Science Education, Values in Technology Education,  Education Policy Implementation Organizational Learning and Innovation,  Research-Practice Partnerships


This line of research focused on how the values and orientations around equity were translated into district-wide organizational change processes aimed at establishing comprehensive computer science education (CSed) programs. It examined how values and equity stances were negotiated in the context of developing strategic visions around CSed, choices around curriculum and professional development, leadership practices, community partnerships, afterschool programs, and stakeholder engagement. 


The first project in this research, the CS Visions Research-Practice Partnership: Building Multi-level Alignment in Local CSforALL Implementations for Sustainability, was a partnership between CSforALL and UC-Irvine, aimed to understand and support district-level computer science strategic planning and implementation that coordinate vision, implementation, and curriculum decisions.  Designed as a research-practice partnership, the project supported sixteen school districts to engage in strategic planning around comprehensive computer science education for their students, actively aiming to root these strategies in core values around CS education identified by cross-district teams.

The second project developed a cohort of eight school districts with well established distict-wide CSed programs in order to understand how they viewed and engaged with systems-level equity concerns. Drawing on participatory knowledge building and retrospective case development, the project developed insights into the nature of data-use to understand root causes of inequities and the role of students as leaders within the context of district CSed initiatives. 



  • Leigh Ann DeLyser - CSforALL

  • June Ahn - UC, Irvine

  • David Phelps, CSforALL


  • The National Science Foundation

  • Google



  • Santo, R., DeLyser, L., Ahn, J., Pellicone, A., Aguiar, J. & Wortel-London, S. (2019). Equity in the Who, How and What of Computer Science Education: K12 School District Conceptualizations of Equity in ‘CS for All’ Initiatives. In Proceedings of the 4th international conference on Research in Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology (RESPECT).

  • Santo, R., DeLyser, L. A., & Ahn, J. (2020). Negotiating Equity Priorities Within Systems Change: A Case Study of a District-Level Initiative to Implement K12 Computer Science Education. Computing in Science & Engineering, 22(5), 7-19.

  • Santo, R., Ahn, J., & DeLyser, L. A. (2021). Computational thinking as district strategy: Moving the CS vs CT Debate from the ivory tower to the schoolhouse. In Computational Thinking in Education (pp. 191-211). Routledge.

  • Phelps, D., & Santo, R. (2021). Student Leadership, Systems Change: Opportunities and Tensions for Youth Impact on Dis- trict-Wide Computer Science Initiatives. ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE), 21(4), 1-39.


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