Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Page: California Lawmakers are Looking for More Computer Science Instruction


Legislation being introduced in Sacramento could significantly boost the number of computer science courses offered in California. There is a growing concern that California students don’t have the computer science skills necessary to thrive in the modern workforce.
A report released by the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) Education Policy Committee, entitled: Rebooting the Pathway to Success: Preparing Students for Computing Workforce Needs in the United Statescalls on education and business leaders and public policy officials in every state to take immediate action aimed at filling the pipeline of qualified students pursuing computing and related degrees, and to prepare them for the 21st century workforce. The report provides recommendations to help these leaders join together to create a comprehensive plan that addresses K-12 computer science education and that aligns state policy, programs, and resources to implement these efforts.
“By 2020, one of every two jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will be in computing,” said Bobby Schnabel, Chair of the ACM Education Policy Committee. “This concentration of computing positions in STEM makes it imperative for K-12 students in academic and career technical education programs to gain more opportunities to learn computer science.”
Students clearly want to learn computer science. Over 700 high school students recently attended a Hackathon in San Jose to learn the mobile app development skills that high-tech employers currently want. It was the largest High School Hackathon ever held… and it was conceived and organized by students for students!
Here is a list of the legislation introduced this session:
  • AB 1764 would authorize school boards to award students a third year of math credit for satisfactory completion of a computer science course.
  • AB 1530 would add computer science to the required course of study for grades 1 to 6.
  • AB 1539 would require California Board of Education to adopt computer science standards for grades 7 to 12.
  • AB 1540 would allow high school students to earn computer science credit through a local community college.
  • AB 2110 would require California Board of Education to include computer science content in existing curriculum frameworks.
  • AB 1200 would ask that the governing boards of the public higher education systems establish academic standards for high school computer science courses that would be accepted at colleges and universities.
Julie Flapan, Executive Director of the Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS), is working closely with, Technet, Microsoft, Google and others to advance computer science education in California.

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