Alignment for Impact (A4I)

What is the purpose of Aligning for Impact (aka A4I)?

GaDOE and CS4GA partnered together on an NSF INCLUDES grant to determine how to broaden participation in quality Computer Science education by underrepresented K-12 students in Georgia.  We are facing three challenges in Georgia:

In 2015-16, over 40,000 students took computer science related courses and over 400 CS teachers
Challenge: A lack of under-represented groups participating in CS education
Challenge: A lack of trained CS teachers in each school district
Challenge: A lack of a clear, equitable CS education implementation plan (based on developmental progression) for districts, program providers (in and out-of-school) and parents

Five districts in urban, suburban, and rural settings have agreed to participate in the two-year NSF project.  Each district will recruit 1 HS, 1 MS, and 1 ES in the same HS cluster to collaborate in the project.  The participating districts are in the table below:

This study served students in racially diverse, low-income district communities (53% to 100% economically disadvantaged).


The goals of the Aligning for Impact NSF funded grant are:


Who is leading the A4I Project?

  •      The Primary Investigators on the NSF Project are Dr. Caitlin Dooley, Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at GaDOE (PI), Dr. Shawn Utley, Executive VP Academic Affairs at Wiregrass Technical College of Ga (Co-PI), and Dr. Kinnis Gosha, Assistant Professor, Computer Science Department at Morehouse College (Co-PI).
  •      In Metro Atlanta, Mr. Khurram Hassan (A4I Project Manager) and Mr. Bryan Cox (CS Specialist at GaDOE) are coordinating engagement with participating schools and districts. In South Georgia, Ms. Julie Sharpe (A4I Coordinator) and Ms. Gail Stokes (Community Engagement Specialist) are doing the same.  Margaret Brackett and Martha Greenway (Greenway Strategy Group) lead our evaluation work

How is the A4I project going to determine quality without CS standards in Georgia?

The recently developed K-12 CS Framework ( will be utilized as the reference for a quality CS education.  Dr. Caitlin Dooley, Deputy Superintendent for Curricullum and Instruction at GaDOE, is one of the authors of the Framework and is the PI for the A4I project.  Her office is working on K-8 CS standards to be in place by summer, 2018, and HS CS standards to be in place by the following year.  This Framework (among other resources) will help to guide the development of these standards as well.  A4I will allow the participating schools and districts to get a headstart on being prepared for the new standards and it will help GaDOE understand what factors to consider in a statewide rollout in the three typical school contexts:  urban, suburban, and rural.  Here is an example of how the K-12 CS Framework informs imeding quality in K-12 contexts:.



The participating five school districts will benefit in the following ways.  CS4GA and GaDOE will also create tools to assist other districts outside this NSF funded project.  Stay tuned!

  •      Each school’s and district’s CS education assets, pathways, and leaks will be mapped
  •      CS education expertise from within GaDOE and CS4GA will be leveraged to develop recommendations on how in school curriculum and out of school activities could be better aligned with the K-12 CS Framework
  •      Industry, non-profits, and academia will be engaged to supplement and better align in and out of school resources with the K-12 CS Framework (CS4GA has already recruited over 40 organizations and we are still growing)
  •      Principals, teachers, and counselors will have increased opportunities to participate in CS professional development during the summer with follow up support throughout the year
  •      Each school and district will be better positioned to take advantage of the CS standards that are under development at GaDOE
  •      A website will be established to assist school and community groups to coordinate their efforts and access resources and data
  •      Underrepresented students will increase their participation in quality CS education

The participating five districts will be responsible for collaborating with GaDOE and CS4GA on the following joint learning and design activities to test how to improve the quality of CS education in their schools

  •      Spring, 2018: Each school and district will participate in mapping out its CS assets, pathways, and leaks.  Begin to plan what adjustments can be made in the coming year to begin to align more with the K-12 CS Framework
  •      Summer, 2018: Participate in CS PD and collaborate with CS4GA/GaDOE to gather the resources to ensure alignment with the Framework
  •      Fall, 2018: Begin piloting the proposed changes and engage principals, teachers, and counselors to determine how the CS PD and other in/out of school resources are assisting them in broadening participation by students
  •      Winter/Spring, 2019: Gather final feedback on what strategies have been most successful in each context (urban, suburban, rural) to make progress towards the Framework and what remains to be done
  •      Summer, 2019: Submit final report to NSF on GaDOE’s efforts and utilize CS4GA’s network to expand CS education quality efforts across Georgia school districts