Advocating for computer science education

Computer Science Education Week and the Computer Science Education Act aim to make computer science a core subject in American schools

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The Computer Science Education Act was introduced in the both the House of Representatives (H.R.3014) and the Senate (S.1614) in September 2011. The main purpose of the act is to encourage states to make computer science a core subject in schools, by providing states with the funding to do the following:

  • Develop a curriculum and define standards and assessments for computer science education
  • Train and certify teachers to teach computer science
  • Improve access to computer science for underrepresented populations 

It also calls for the creation of a Blue Ribbon Commission to follow states’ progress on implementing a computer science curriculum and provide recommendations to Congress and the administration.

In both houses of Congress the bill is currently stuck in committee. A spokesman for Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, who introduced it in the House, said that he expects the bill to be reintroduced in the next Congress as part of a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as the No Child Left Behind Act). When, exactly that will happen, or when/if a vote will on it will take place is unclear.

I also asked for an update from Sen. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, who introduced the bill in the Senate, but haven’t heard back yet.

If you’d like to learn more or find out what you can do to support passage of the bill, check out Computing in the Core or the Computer Science Teachers Association.

What’s your take? Should computer science education become standard in U.S. schools?

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