Arkansas among states passing legislation to expand computer science education

Arkansas among states passing legislation to expand computer science education

More than 60 organizations come together to support advocacy efforts to expand access to and diversity in computer science classes

thomas@whiteboardadvisors. com Since January 2018, 20 states have passed legislation and funded $49 million to expand access to and diversity in K-12 computer science, according to the Code.org Advocacy Coalition, a group of more than 60 industry, non-profit, and advocacy organizations working together to make computer science a fundamental part of K-12 education. Members of the coalition include Microsoft, Amazon, Computer Science Teachers Association, College Board, and Excellence in Education Foundation, and local organizations including HawaiiKidsCAN, the Kansas City Tech Council, the Maryland Center for Computing Education, Nextech, and PluralSight.

Momentum for computer science education has never been stronger. In the past five years, more than 40 states, ranging from New York and Florida to Alabama and Wyoming have made policy changes to ensure that students have an opportunity to learn computer science.

“It is amazing to see the tremendous support from educators, business leaders, parents, and policy makers to make sure that every student has the chance to learn computer science,” said Cameron Wilson, president of the Code.org Advocacy Coalition. “This progress would not be possible without the national and local partners, members of the computer science community and the 800,000 teachers who all support this movement.”

These 20 states passed new laws or initiatives to support K-12 computer science (CS) since January of this year:

• Alabama has adopted new CS education standards and funded nearly $1M for CS

• Arizona is developing new CS education standards and has funded $1M for CS

• Arkansas has renewed $5 million of funding for CS

• Colorado has funded $1 million for CS and a $1,000 per student incentive program for schools to offer AP Computer Science

• Delaware has adopted new education standards for CS

• Florida will require every middle and high school to teach CS

• Hawaii has funded $500K for CS, adopted new CS education standards, and will require every high school to teach CS by 2021

• Idaho has renewed $2 million of funding for CS and will require every high school to teach CS by 2020

• Indiana will require every school to teach CS by 2020

• Maryland has funded a $7 million, 3-year plan for CS and will require every high school to teach CS by 2021

• Mississippi has adopted new education standards for CS

• Missouri will require the development of new CS education standards and teacher certification rules, and now allows CS courses to count towards core graduation requirements

• Nevada has adopted new education standards for CS

• New Hampshire will require every school district to teach CS

• New Jersey will require every high school to teach CS by 2018

• New York has funded a 5-year, $30 million plan for CS

• Oklahoma has adopted new education standards for CS

• Pennsylvania has adopted new education standards for CS

• Utah has renewed $1.2 million of funding for CS

• Wyoming will start developing new education standards for CS and will require every school to teach CS by 2022 “Foundational computer science knowledge provides students with the computational thinking and problem-solving skills needed to compete in today’s job market,” said Jane Broom, director of Microsoft Philanthropy.

“We look forward to continuing to work together with Code.org and education leaders to expand access to K-12 computer science education across the country.”

From Thomas Rodgers

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