New Report Tracks Policy Progress on Expanding K–12 Computer Science Education

CS Ed Policy Report

A new report describing the progress of U.S. states in achieving 10 policy priorities for improving and expanding K–12 computer science (CS) education was released today at a national workshop led by Google, EDC, and the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN) on Google’s Cambridge campus. The report highlights key strategies and issues state leaders must address regarding CS education.

A group of leading CS education organizations co-authored State of the States Landscape Report: State-Level Policies Supporting Equitable K–12 Computer Science Education, with funding from BNY Mellon. The group includes the following:

  • EDC
  • Code.org
  • Education Commission of the States
  • NSF BPC Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance
  • Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN)
  • SageFox Consulting Group

“We believe this report can play a powerful role in guiding enhancements to CS education nationwide,” said Vicary Graham, chair, New England, BNY Mellon, introducing the report at the workshop. “This is a critical moment to take stock of the CS education work that is underway, identify states’ challenges and successes, and chart a clear course to move forward.”

“Even with all of the progress being made, we have a long way yet to go,” said EDC’s Jim Stanton, executive director of MassCAN and the report’s lead author. “A failure to act boldly and urgently will maintain the status quo, in which access to CS is available to only a fraction of the nation’s K–12 students. Aggressively addressing the policy priorities described in this report will more quickly and effectively provide CS opportunities to a whole generation of students.”

“Adding a new opportunity such as computer science to the K–12 menu is exciting and brings many challenges, said Pat Yongpradit, Code.org’s chief academic officer. “The 10 policy recommendations, developed by Code.org’s Advocacy Coalition, provide a road map for states to create and sustain equitable infrastructure for rigorous K–12 CS education.”

“This report can help guide states in creating an inclusive, collaborative group to develop policies and reforms that will address the underrepresentation of many people in the computer science field,” said Rick Adrion, principal investigator of the ECEP Alliance and emeritus professor of computer science at UMass Amherst. “The experience of ECEP proves this is an important first step to broaden participation in computing.”

“Computer science has exploded on the education policy landscape, and state leaders are looking for policy guidance,” said Jennifer Zinth, director, High School Institute and STEM Center, Education Commission of the States. “This report provides meaningful guideposts for states just beginning to lay the foundation for K–12 computer science education, and for states that are further along, the report identifies solutions to policy components yet to be fully addressed.”

Last updated: April 3, 2017