Massachusetts prepares K12 CS education standards

February 25, 2014 at 9:55 am 3 comments

Thanks to Ben Shapiro for the pointer.  My ECEP colleague, Rick Adrion, is part of MassCAN.  Massachusetts has just decided to develop K-12 standards that will include computer science.

These discussions have led to a vision of expanded computing education opportunities for all students. To realize this vision, the Department will be collaborating with MassCAN on the development of voluntary Computer Science Standards for Massachusetts schools. The current Technology Literacy standards will be analyzed and updated and a decision will be made whether to fold Technology Literacy standards into a single document with computer science (Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards), or to produce two separate documents.

The standards development committee plans to present draft standards to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education about a year from now, in winter 2014-15. Given the significant education initiatives already underway, I would recommend putting the standards out for public comment no earlier than fall 2015, and would ask the Board to vote on adopting the standards no earlier than spring 2016.

via Briefing for the February 24, 2014 Special Meeting and the February 25, 2014 Regular Meeting – Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alanone1  |  February 25, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Vis a vis our ongoing discussions, this intention in a generally forward looking state is 33 years after the introduction of the IBM PC and 30 years after the Mac (they can be somewhat forgiven for not noticing the Apple ][ which was introduced ca 1977).

    Perhaps more interesting is that the “blindingly obvious” phase is at least 15-20 years old now.

    And the chances that Massachusetts will come up with reasonable standards is likely close to zero.

    General society is a very low pass filter for ideas!

    Reply
    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  February 25, 2014 at 9:03 pm

      I re-read Seymour’s piece on why school reform is impossible.

      My own view is that education activists can be effective in fostering radical change by rejecting the concept of a planned reform and concentrating on creating the obvious conditions for Darwinian evolution: Allow rich diversity to play itself out.

      Seymour sounds like he’s saying that it’s a good thing to have a rich diversity, including standards that aren’t “reasonable.” What could we do to influence the path of the Massachusetts standards? They’re not going to be reasonable to start. But we can be pressure on the evolutionary process, right?

      Reply
  • 3. Alan Fekete  |  February 25, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    As a comparison and perhaps an inspiration, Australia is starting on the process of bringing computing ideas into the general population’s education from K (here called F) to grade 10; then in the last 2 years of high school each student specializes quite a lot. See the (not yet implemented) curriculum description http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/digital-technologies/Curriculum/F-10

    Reply

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