$20 Million In Private Donations Raised For Mayor de Blasio’s Computer Science For All Initiative
September 22, 2016
Program has already reached 246 schools and trained more than 450 teachers
Goal of universal access to computer science education for 1.1 million students ahead of progress
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships, announced today that Mayor de Blasio’s Computer Science for All (CS4ALL) initiative has raised $20 million in private funding. The fundraising campaign is half-way toward meeting a $40 million goal that will ultimately be matched in public funding for one of the cornerstones of the Mayor’s Equity and Excellence education reforms.
Today, 246 elementary, middle and high schools across the city are participating in CS4ALL. More than 450 teachers are receiving rigorous training to bring computer science instruction to their schools. CS4ALL gives students the computational thinking, problem solving and critical thinking skills necessary for college and professional success. Last September, the Mayor announced that the City would be bringing the program to every elementary, middle, and high school by 2025.
“Last year we announced an ambitious plan to bring computer science education to every public school student by 2025 – making New York City the largest school district in the country to do so. Today, we are announcing real strides in completing our goal,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The city’s tech industry is growing, yet before Computer Science for All, fewer than five percent of our public school students had even the most basic skills necessary to apply for these jobs. Through this program, we’re laying the groundwork today so that our kids can apply for these jobs tomorrow.”
The initiative is a model for effective public-private partnerships, with the City of New York and the private sector bearing programmatic costs equally. Today the Mayor announced new commitments from: Math for America (MƒA); Robin Hood Education and Technology Fund, co-chaired by David Siegel and John Overdeck; Paulson Family Foundation; Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.; the Hutchins Family Foundation; Association for a Better New York and the Rudin Family Foundation; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Ron Conway, Founder, SV Angel; and Nancy and Alan Schwartz. Founding partners Fred Wilson and CSNYC, Robin Hood and the AOL Charitable Foundation, as well as early investment from AT&T that helped make the initiative possible. Public dollars support the infrastructure and human capital needed to pull off what is the largest effort of its kind. Private dollars support the training of nearly 5,000 teachers over the next ten years. These funds are overseen and administered by the New York City Fund for Public Schools.
“Computer Science for All is a cornerstone of equity and excellence in our public schools – these are the skills our students need to be successful in high school, college, and careers in the 21st century,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “This isn’t just for particular students from particular backgrounds; learning how to think critically and computationally, and how to create with technology, must be for all students. I thank our private partners for recognizing the importance of this initiative and for their investment.”
“The Mayor’s vision for New York City schools will put a new generation on the path toward success,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships. “Through this landmark public-private partnership, we will level the playing field for every student in every borough. Computer Science for All is an investment in creating opportunities for all of our young people, particularly in a global economy where technology is integral to every industry.”
Through the implementation of this ten-year initiative, New York City will be the largest school district in the country to provide computer science education to all students, particularly populations underrepresented in tech including girls, African-American and Latino students and students from low-income families. Most students in public schools traditionally either lack access to computer science or gain these skills too late. Early and widespread exposure to computer science is key to breaking down gender and racial barriers, leading to greater diversity and equality in the tech sector and relevant industries. The initiative promotes critical skills like thinking creatively, working as a team, and interacting with technology, as well as technical skills that will power the 21st century economy.
Computer science education at the scale of New York City’s public school system, encompassing 1.1 million students, will allow a new generation to be active creators of technology. By expanding access to computer science throughout NYC public schools, CS4ALL will also promote the cultivation of local and diverse talent for the City’s own workforce, including technology, and have a ripple effect across the country, where only a quarter of professional computing jobs are held by women and less than ten percent are held by African-Americans and Latinos.
Of the 246 schools participating in Computer Science for All programs, 98 are offering full-year courses or multi-year sequences including AP Computer Science Principles, the Software Engineering Program (SEP) and the SEP Jr. program for elementary schools. Teachers from the remaining schools have participated in the “CS Track” of the Department of Education’s STEM Institute and received intensive training to implement rigorous, hands-on CS lessons and units in their schools. Through teachers’ participation in these programs, students in elementary, middle and high school will learn the fundamentals of computer science, such as coding, robotics and web design.
By 2025, all New York City public school students will receive at least one meaningful, high-quality computer science unit or course at each school level: elementary, middle, and high school. The centerpiece of the initiative is the training of nearly 5,000 teachers who will, by year ten, bring computer science to more than 245,000 students each year.
Importantly, many of these students will be prepared to fill the 200,000 additional technology jobs that New York City’s employers will create over the next decade whileall graduates will be equipped with soft skills needed to successfully navigate the 21st century economy. Together, the Equity and Excellence initiatives will support progress across all schools so that, by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time, two-thirds of graduates are college ready and all students are reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade. More information on Equity and Excellence is availableonline.
“I am very gratified to see so many leaders of the private sector in NYC get behind CS4ALL. This is the kind of transformational effort that requires the support of both government and the private sector. Together we are making sure that all of our students in NYC are trained in the skills that they need to be successful in the private sector and really any sector. So it makes sense that everyone is coming together to support this work,” said Fred Wilson, Founder and Chairman of CSNYC Partner and Union Square Ventures.
“Computer Science is a spectacularly rich and beautiful subject, closely connected to mathematics and science, and nowadays to everyday life as well,” said John Ewing, MƒA President. “MƒA’s one thousand math and science teachers are enthusiastic about the computer science initiative, and many are already involved. We are delighted to support an effort at the frontiers of education – one that offers exciting opportunities not only for students but for teachers as well.”
“CS4ALL is about helping our students develop the necessary skills and competencies to be successful in the 21st century. Access to high-quality computer science education will increase the demand for our city’s students in higher education and in the job market,” said John Paulson, President of Paulson and Co. Inc.
“We are incredibly pleased to support the City’s commitment to providing computer science and technology skills to a new generation of innovative thinkers,” said Joel S. Marcus, Chairman, CEO and Founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. “As the leading provider of science and technology campuses, and the developer of the City’s first and only world-class science and technology campus in Manhattan, Alexandria feels strongly about creating the knowledge workforce of the future and supporting the recruitment of highly skilled talent for our tenants who work day-in and day-out to treat, cure, and manage disease.”
“Just as accounting is the language of business and calculus is the language of physics, computer science is the language of innovation. The vision of Computer Science for All to teach teachers is a uniquely powerful means to equip the students of New York City to participate and prosper in the innovation economy of the future. The Hutchins Family Foundation is pleased to be able to play a part in this invaluable initiative.” Debbie and Glenn Hutchins, co-Founders of the Hutchins Family Foundation.
“CS4ALL is the largest public sector effort to educate our children in computer science and to match their skills with the needs and the opportunities of tomorrow,” said William C. Rudin, Chairman of the Association for a Better New York. “The May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation and the ABNY Foundation are proud to be supporters of Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Department of Education in taking on bold initiatives for our children and for the future of our city.”
“Wachtell Lipton has been proud to join with leaders in every sector of our city to support CS4ALL. Its progress in just the first year, and its transformative vision for the years to come, will make a powerful difference in the lives of children across this city who will be given the opportunity to learn, and ultimately themselves to lead, in a critical business sector and in an indispensable language of the future,” said Kevin S. Schwartz, Partner at Wachtell, Lipton and Rosen & Katz.
“CS4ALL is an initiative that I hope spreads across the country fast, including Silicon Valley! Computer science is a ‘basic’ goal for all students now, and the sooner we make the curriculum available to all, the better,” said Ron Conway, Founder of SV Angel.
“As a founding partner of CS4ALL, Robin Hood is proud of what has been accomplished in just a year. With professional development opportunities for hundreds of teachers and schools, this was a strong start to what is already an important initiative. We all share a commitment that all of New York City’s students should be graduating from high school having received a strong education and with the skills and tools they need to succeed,” Reynold Levy, President of Robin Hood.
“We know that many young people miss out on careers in technology, because they just don’t have the chance to uncover their passion for it,” said Sara Link, President of the AOL Charitable Foundation. “By giving NYC students from all backgrounds the exposure to computer science, they are gaining skills and experiences they will need to achieve success in their academic careers and beyond in our tech-enabled world. The AOL Charitable Foundation is proud to support this groundbreaking program alongside CSNYC, Robin Hood, the DOE and other leading partners to make a real difference in the lives of NYC students.”
“Tech jobs are growing faster than any other sector, and yet we do not have enough skilled workers to fill them. CS4ALL ensures that the next generation of New Yorkers will be fully prepared for the jobs of the future,” said Kathryn S. Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.
“We often say that genius is evenly distributed across zip codes, but opportunity is not. This is particularly true when it comes to access to Computer Science education – skills that are increasingly critical to the well-paying jobs of the future,” said Mitch Kapor, tech pioneer and partner at Kapor Capital. “We’ve seen in Oakland that these types of public-private partnerships can help tap the genius that is often overlooked in underrepresented students, and we are enthusiastic supporters of New York’s CS4ALL efforts.”
“More than at any time in our history, it is critical for companies like AT&T to invest in developing a diverse talent pipeline, providing our young people with the skills that they need to succeed and that will help our society prosper. That’s why AT&T is so proud to be a longtime supporter of STEM education in New York City, starting with our investment in the Software Engineering Pilot program that laid the groundwork for Computer Science for All,” said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President of AT&T. “We are thrilled to watch our commitment come to life in more than 250 schools during just the first year of this initiative, and we look forward to seeing hundreds more following suit next year.”
“As a partner in this effort, we applaud the work of NYC schools to expand access to computer science for all students, especially for underrepresented minorities. It’s inspiring to see educators rise up to bring this opportunity to classrooms and to students who would otherwise be left behind,” said Hadi Partovi, Founder ofCode.org.
“Facebook applauds Mayor de Blasio’s important effort to provide all 1.1 million New York City public school children access to a computer science education. By equipping every single student with the skills and knowledge to compete in today’s economy, Computer Science for All will help create a new generation of talented, creative leaders,” said Will Castleberry, Vice President of State and Local Policy of Facebook.
“Accenture is delighted to support New York City’s Computer Science For All initiative – which has the potential to fundamentally change the future of the tech industry through its scale and scope,” said Lynn McMahon, New York Metro Managing Director of Accenture. “Technology is changing the workplace in many ways, and we are committed to helping the next generation build skills that will help them succeed in the digital economy.”
“Computer Science for All demonstrates the power of public private partnerships,” saidSarah Geisenheimer, Executive Director of the Fund for Public Schools. “With commitments from the City and private funders we are able to move quickly to ensure that every single NYC student has access to an education that will equip them with the skills to succeed in the future. We are grateful for this partnership and the investments that will create opportunities for all our students.”
“New York’s CS4ALL initiative is an essential program for preparing students to live and work in a world where technologies are increasingly pervasive. The New York Hall of Science is proud to stand as a partner with the Department of Education to help give New York City students every advantage in acquiring the skills and knowledge that will enable them to play an active role in shaping the future of technology,” said Margaret Honey, President and CEO of the New York Hall of Science.
“Integrating computer science education in New York City public schools is critical given the importance of technology in driving innovation,” said Eliot Horowitz, Chief Technology Officer and co-Founder, MongoDB. “These skills are fundamental to success in the tech space and many other career paths. I am incredibly excited to support the work of this initiative and congratulate Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious effort.”
“Code/Interactive is proud to partner with the NYC Department of Education to develop computer science programs in schools across the city. We trained over 100 computer science teachers this summer through the NYC Department of Education’s STEM Institute, Exploring Computer Science professional development, and Code.org‘s AP Computer Science Principles course. Our work with students, teachers, and schools would not be possible without support and leadership from the Mayor’s Office and the NYC Department of Education,” said Michael Denton, Executive Director of Code/Interactive.
“By integrating computer science into existing math classes through our introductory course, schools across NYC have been able to introduce computer science to their entire student body – without having to create a dedicated class. We’re proud to continue our work with thousands of students across NYC,” said Emmanuel Schanzer, Founder of Bootstrap.
“The K-5 teachers in our workshop at the STEM Institute have been amazing. It’s exciting to see educators at different points in their careers designing and coding their own robots and lessons to bring back to their classrooms. At only a couple weeks into the New Year, our early ed teachers are already starting to introduce robotics and coding into their classrooms, integrating their new skills and knowledge with their regular lessons and classroom activities. This level of buy-in and integration is paramount to the success of computer science education, and we’re thrilled to be working with the NYC Department of Education to help teachers channel this enthusiasm into high quality and engaging lessons,” said Gaelen Hadlett, co-Director of Sunset Spark.
“Computer Science for All is enabling our students to become better thinkers, problem-solvers, and builders of ideas and technology – as opposed to just consumers. It’s thrilling to see our educators expanding their toolbox, as they collaborate across the city to bring innovative lessons to their classrooms. Our partners are essential in making all of this possible, and we will continue to work hand-in-hand to achieve equity and excellence for all students,” said Phil Weinberg, Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning.
“We are excited to partner with nearly 5,000 innovative, committed and creative teachers and their administrators to bring computer science to all NYC students. The 450-plus teachers we’ve worked with have shown tremendous dedication to learning new content, embracing their students’ and their own creativity, and expanding opportunities for all students,” said Debbie Marcus, Executive Director of Computer Science for the New York City Department of Education.
“We recognize that all children, regardless of socioeconomic status or background, need to have access to the computer science skills that will help them to thrive in the marketplace and we applaud City leaders for taking the necessary action to make this a reality for students across New York” said Leecia Eve, Vice President of New York State Government Affairs at Verizon. “Programs like these are vital to our communities and mirror our commitment to providing equal access to technology and STEM education for underserved students. And in the spirit of this mission, through the White House ConnectEd program, we are proud to donate tablets and Internet access for students, along with professional development for the teachers through Verizon Innovative Learning to three City schools. The work being done in NYC is a model example of what we need to see nationwide.”
“Classroom teachers are essential allies in democratizing access to computing education –
and I admire CS4ALL’s strong commitment to supporting teachers as part of this initiative. Our research team has been delighted to support NYC teachers through professional development events, curriculum, and building connections to an international community of educators who are passionate about computing as a creative medium,” said Karen Brennan, Associate Professor and Director of the Creative Computing Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
“CS4ALL is an important step in expanding access for girls, who have been left behind in computer science education. As we continue to grow CS4ALL in New York City, we look forward to seeing more public and private investment to ensure that we’re meeting the needs of girls and other underrepresented minorities,” said Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code.
“New York City is moving towards computer science being considered a core subject, as necessary as history and literature for our students’ success. By working together, we are helping more students gain critical skills and be better prepared for the careers and demands of an information economy,” said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers.
“Technology and computer literacy has quickly become an integral part of the 21st century workforce, and our schools must adapt quickly to teach our students the skills they need to succeed in college and to get good paying jobs. That’s why I am a strong supporter of STEM initiatives and computer science programs to close the digital gap that disproportionally affects low income students and students of color,” saidCongressman José E. Serrano. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio’s leadership on this issue and for making the right investments to make sure all our kids have the best opportunity to thrive in life.”
Council Member Daniel Dromm, Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Education said, “These donations are equipping our students with skills that will benefit them their entire lives. Computer science education teaches students to think creatively and strategically. Those who wish to major in computer science in college will be better prepared for this course of study. I am pleased that the Administration is prioritizing Computer Science for All and will continue to work with them to further expand this initiative.”
“Computer science is the cornerstone of the modern economy and therefore should be a major component of our education curriculum,” said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Technology. “CS4ALL is a great leap towards providing computer science training for all of our students. I’m pleased that we’ve reached this important funding benchmark and look forward to the full implementation of the initiative. I applaud Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Fariña and Director Fialkoff for their commitment to this cause.”
“New York’s fastest growing business sector is the tech industry, only second in the country to Silicon Valley and accounting for over 300,000 new jobs with median salaries of $100,000. Computer science is no longer a niche discipline as the subject has become an integral part of nearly every aspect of our lives, and it’s time our classrooms caught up with that trend. 21st century schools should have 21st century curricula, and we owe it to the 1.1 million NYC public school students to prepare them for the 21st century job market,” said Council Member Mark Levine. “We’ve taken a big step forward by adding computer science curricula to over 246 schools. I applaud the Mayor for his CS4ALL campaign, and look forward to seeing the positive effects it will have in the years to come.”
About the Fund for Public Schools
The Fund for Public Schools (FPS) is a nonprofit partner to the NYC Department of Education, building public-private partnerships to strengthen our city’s public schools and create opportunities for its 1.1 million students. The Fund secures private dollars for critical system-wide education initiatives, develops partnerships, and encourages broad public engagement both in our schools and in the lives of our students.