Progress in computer science education

A new report from the Advocacy Coalition details how states and districts across the United States are improving access to computer science education. The group found that, in the last year, 33 states have passed new laws and regulations related to the coalition’s nine suggested policies for making computer science fundamental to K-12 education:

  1. Create a state plan for K-12 computer science (an increase from 2 states in the 2017 report to 6 states in the 2018 report).
  2. Define computer science and establish rigorous K-12 computer science standards (an increase from 6 to 22 states, with 11 additional states working on standards).
  3. Allocate funding for rigorous computer science teacher professional learning and course support (an increase from 9 to 19 states).
  4. Implement clear certification pathways for computer science teachers (an increase from 27 to 33 states).
  5. Create programs at institutions of higher education to offer computer science to preservice teachers (an increase from 12 to 13 states).
  6. Establish dedicated computer science positions in state and local education agencies (an increase from 8 to 14 states).
  7. Require that all secondary schools offer computer science with appropriate implementation timelines (an increase from 4 to 15 states).
  8. Allow computer science to satisfy a core graduation requirement (an increase from 28 to 39 states).
  9. Allow computer science to satisfy an admission requirement at institutions of higher education (an increase from 13 to 17 states).

Although only 35% of high schools offer courses in computer science, states that have enacted these policies have a greater percentage of high schools teaching computer science, with the percentage going up as states enact more policies. Access is highest in suburban schools, with towns and rural areas lagging behind.

The report includes descriptions of how states can meet the policies, lists of states have have met the policies, resources to assist states with developing policies, and summaries of how each state has moved toward implementing these policies.

Source: (2018). State of computer science education: Policy and implementation. Seattle, WA: Author.

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