Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

K-12 CS Education is “Running on Empty”… And “Computing in the Core” Aims to Change That

October 6th, 2010 / in pipeline, policy / by Erwin Gianchandani

Our colleagues at ACM today announced a landmark report that presents, for the first time, a state-by-state breakdown of current K-12 standards for computer science education, including specific high school graduation requirements:

At the same time, a new non-partisan coalition of associations, corporations, scientific societies, and other non-profits was unveiled. Computing in the Core, as it’s called, comprises CRA, NCWIT, the Anita Borg Institute for Women & Technology, the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), Microsoft, Google, and SAS. It strives to elevate computer science education to a core academic subject in K-12 education, giving young people the college- and career-readiness skills necessary in a technology-focused society.

CinC’s new website uses language from recent CCC white papers to describe how computer science impacts society, from healthcare to energy to national security and beyond — in an effort to make the case for strong CS K-12 education that truly prepares our next generation to realize these impacts and visions:

Some highlights of today’s announcement, which took place before a packed room at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, include:

James H. Shelton, III, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement, delivered opening remarks. He noted that the implications of the report push the field forward in terms of policy, and that the state-by-state breakdown is hugely important as action on CS education is often at the state level. Shelton also added, “The definition of STEM didn’t make it clear that computer science was part of it. [Yet] for our students to be competitive, this kind of thinking needs to be in the core.”

Bobby Schnabel, Dean of the School of Informatics at Indiana University, presented key findings of the report, including the fact that only 10 of 44 states (where state-wide measurements were possible) currently count CS education toward their degree requirements. The report specified key recommendations: (1) any STEM education bill must explicitly state computer science; (2) the Federal government must fund states and help them plan programs that will facilitate improvement; and (3) individual states may use the successes of other states (as captured by the report) as they seek to further CS education in their schools’ curricula.

We encourage you to review the report and companion website: Running on Empty: The Failure to Teach K-12 Computer Science in the Digital Age.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

K-12 CS Education is “Running on Empty”… And “Computing in the Core” Aims to Change That

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