History was made in Kansas City. The first ever AP Computer Science Principles reading was held there from June 11 – June 18, 2017. AP Computer Science Principles is distinguished as the largest launch of an AP course ever! Approximately 330 high school, college and university educators converged in Kansas City, Missouri, to grade over 93,000 Performance Tasks submitted by more than 46,500 students. Alabama was well represented at the reading with 23 teachers working as readers or table leaders! Though he was not able to be there in person, Dr. Gray was with us in spirit (and on our “Gray’s Graders” t-shirts).
Not only was it fun and exciting to be part of this record-breaking event, but it was very educational. Participating in the AP exam reading is considered by many to be the best professional development opportunity for any AP teacher. All 23 Alabama teachers are ready to go back to their classrooms in the fall and be an even more effective teacher due to the wealth of knowledge gained from the reading and interacting with other dedicated, passionate AP Computer Science Principles teachers from all over the nation. In addition to the daily interactions with other AP teachers and the wealth of knowledge that was shared, there were formal professional development opportunities available to AP CS Principles teachers in Kansas City. The College Board hosts “Professional Nights” at all AP readings. This year, Computer Science Principles teachers had an opportunity to learn about integrating accessibility into computing courses from Richard Ladner of the University of Washington. We also had an opportunity to talk directly to the decision makers from the College Board at the Open Forum, hosted by Crystal Furman, Director AP Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment – Computer Science. Teachers also were treated to a session on Cloud Computing, presented by Laurie White from Google.
Twenty-three Alabama AP Computer Science teachers had a great time and learned a lot at the first AP CS Principles reading last week. Many projections have the number of student test takers doubling next year, nationwide. Hopefully, we can also double the number of Alabama teachers becoming readers and taking advantage of the professional development available through reading participation in June 2018. I’m looking forward to working with even more Alabama teachers at the reading next year.