The number of high school girls in New York City taking the AP computer science test has increased six-fold in just two years.
According to Department of Education data (via the New York Post), 2,155 girls took the test in 2018, compared with just 379 who took it in 2016. But not only are more girls taking the exam, they’re doing well on it, too: In 2018, 1,266 girls passed the test, compared with 177 who passed in 2016.
The increase is consistent with figures across the country. In August, it was reported that girls, black and Latinx students took the test in record numbers—in 2018, a total 135,992 took the exam, an increase of 31 percent from the year before.
This is thanks largely to the efforts of organizations like Code.org, which gets funding from major tech companies like Google and Amazon and works to increase access to computer science classes, particularly in low-income and rural areas.
“Our society is rewriting every industry using computer science, and we shouldn’t limit participation in that only to a lucky few,” Hadi Partovi, Code.org founder and CEO, told USA Today. “The idea that we wouldn’t introduce it to every student in every school seems un-American.”