Data Science for Everyone (DS4E) is a national coalition advancing comprehensive data science education so that every K-12 student has the data literacy skills needed to succeed in our modern world. DS4E works to raise awareness of the importance of data science education, fills capacity gaps, centralizes resources, and supports research for different models and approaches for data science education.
Created by The University of Chicago’s Center for Radical Innovation for Social Change (RISC), DS4E works with more than 1,000 stakeholders across the nation’s K-12 education system to ensure every student can read, analyze, and communicate effectively with data by the time they graduate high school.
The ability to understand and work with data has become a 21st century skill that touches almost every occupation and daily life. Nearly every interaction in today’s world — both personal and professional — requires basic fluency in interpreting and applying data. This includes making personal decisions around financial planning or healthcare, as well as working effectively in every role in the modern workforce — from customer success associate to machine-learning engineer.
Despite the fundamental need for data science education, few states and school districts have updated their standards, courses, or curricula to ensure that students graduate high school with a basic command of data. Only 1% of students complete a data science or data analytics course in high school, and very few districts have integrated data science into other subject areas such as social studies or humanities.
Additionally, the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results indicate that student achievement in foundational data science skills declined significantly compared to other content areas. Most notably, between 2019 and 2022, the average scores in data analysis, statistics, and probability fell by 10 points for eighth-grade students — representing what some experts consider a full grade level in progress.
There are also significant racial and socio-economic gaps in student outcomes related to data science education, and these gaps are the most glaring at the middle and high school levels. Eighth-grade Black students scored 34 points lower in Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability than their white peers on NAEP assessments. Along socio-economic lines, low-income fourth-grade students scored 23 points lower in Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability than their higher-income peers.
job growth in data science jobs since 2012
fastest growing careers are data-centric
of students complete a data science or data analytics course in high school
In 2019, DS4E jump-started a national movement to promote, support and adopt efforts to move data science education forward. Since then, the coalition has sparked policy reform at the district, state, and federal levels to create enabling conditions for K-12 data science, facilitated collaboration among early adopters to spread emerging ideas and best practices, and discovered and curated resources that help catalyze the adoption of data science curriculum.
DS4E has also mobilized more than 270 diverse stakeholders to commit to actions supporting more than three million students and 25,000 teachers across 500-plus districts. The coalition directly supports ongoing work in 20 states (including Virginia, Oregon, California, Ohio, Utah, Arkansas, and Nebraska) to integrate data science into state standards, professional development, and curricula.
All of these efforts are rapidly building momentum for the data science education movement. The work of DS4E, alongside many other individuals and organizations, is resulting in increased awareness of the importance of data science education, increased availability of curriculum, materials, and professional development for teaching data science, new public and private sector commitments to data science, and state-level policy changes that enable the adoption of high school data science courses.