Coalition of Non-Profit Organizations Urges States to Adopt Policies that Aim to Include Computer Science Programs in K12 Education

Computing has become a part of everyone’s daily life. More importantly, the use of computer is in commerce and in just about every occupation. That is why more than 50 non-profit, industry and advocacy organizations have banded together under the Advocacy Coalition to work together toward making computer science a fundamental part of K-12 education.

In line with that advocacy, the Coalition is calling on all states to adopt policies that aim to include computer education as a means of exposing K12 learners to the field of computer learning. The Coalition sees computer science as a foundation on which students can build ideas about the world; as knowledge and expertise in the field will provide them a way toward the fastest growing and highest paying jobs in America today.

The Coalition published a report last Wednesday, which puts to light that sadly, only 45% of American high schools teach computer science, while minority students and female learners are still underrepresented in this area of education. The report stresses that lack of computer education creates inequalities that can hurt the economies, particularly of the under represented sectors.

In line with such observations, the Advocacy Coalition, along with the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance and the Computer Science Teachers Association, have put forward nine policy recommendations for states to consider in implementing actions for K12 computer education.

The Coalition’s report also furnish information about American states that have already adopted at least one of the policies recommended. As a result, states that heeded at least one or up to four of the policies recommended have seen a 39% increase in the number of high schools currently offering computer science classes.

The few states that have adopted all nine (9) policies recommended by the Coalition, are seeing greater growth of 65% in the number of high schools that include computer science in their mentoring.

In both cases, the report also noted that by having a broader view in formulating actions that implemented K12 computer education, high schools are seeing more female students taking up Advanced Placement computer science programs.

The Nine Policies Recommended by the Advocacy Coalition in Making Computer Education Fundamental for K12 Education

The Advocacy Coalition stresses that the 9-policy recommendations serve as menu on how states can best implement K12 computer education in their region, which also aims to close gaps present in K12 educational systems.

The nine (9) policies are as follows:

  1. Creation of a state plan for statewide implementation of incorporating computer science in high school education.
  2. Make a statement defining computer science and establish a set of “rigorous” computer science standards.
  3. llocate state funds for purposes of providing rigorous computer science training for teachers.
  4. Implement clear computer science certification pathways for teachers intending to teach computer education.
  5. Provide a preservice resource for teachers who desire to teach computer science by establish programs in the higher education institutions in their state.
  6. Give rise to computer science positions in state and local education agencies.
  7. Make it mandatory for all secondary schools to offer computer science, whilst establishing an appropriate implementation timeline for compliance.
  8. Let computer science become a core graduation requirement.
  9. Make computer science an admission requirement at higher education institutions