New CS Standards Developed by DESE & EDC's MassCAN Approved

Computer science education

The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has unanimously approved new, voluntary digital literacy and computer science standards (read EDC's announcement "CS Standards Reshape Education in Mass"). Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) senior staff led the process with EDC's Joyce Malyn-Smith (Standards Task Force leader for the EDC-led Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network--MassCAN) and significant input from a Review Panel of educators and industry leaders that helped guide and inform the work. Other key contributors included EDC Director of Computer Science Teacher Leadership Kelly Powers, EDC Senior Project Manager/MassCAN Executive Director Jim Stanton, the Executive Committee of MassCAN, and MassCAN Coalition members.

Joyce Malyn-Smith, who co-leads an EDC/ESE National Science Foundation-funded initiative to develop elementary curriculum units that integrate computational thinking in math and science classes that was highlighted in a recent WBUR.org news story about the Mass. standards, said: “Today, computer scientists shape the boundaries and limits of discovery and innovation. The standards are a crucial step in ensuring all of our students have the opportunity to develop the computational thinking skills they need to become technology leaders and architects of the future, not just consumers of technology who live in the shadows of others’ ideas.”

Jim Stanton added, “Every student in school today is going to live in a world where computer science is pervasive. For students to effectively function in the 21st century, they can’t just know how to turn on a computer and surf the web. They are going to need baseline skills in programming, coding, and, more broadly, computer science. The new standards will guide the state in giving teachers tools and support to help students develop foundational computer science skills and knowledge that prepare them to be effective citizens, make informed decisions about computer science in their lives, and—if they wish—go on to pursue careers in computer science.”

Last Updated: June 2016