Washington State House votes to count computer science for math/science credit

March 14, 2013 at 11:07 am 6 comments

So cool!  There is a petition on the linked page (below) if you would like to express your support for this bill.

In overwhelming fashion, the Washington State House voted 95-3 to pass a new bill in the Washington State Legislature that may allow computer science classes to count as a math or science requirement toward high school graduation.

The bill now moves onto the Senate.

Currently, Washington high schoolers who take a computer science class don’t receive a math or science credit. HB 1472 would enable this and “provide initiatives to improve and expand access to computer science education.”

via Washington House votes to count computer science for math, science credit – GeekWire.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ebujak  |  March 14, 2013 at 11:55 am

    So even if this passes the Senate and becomes law, there can still be schools or school districts that operate as usual and still not count CS as math or science. I see the word “may” which is not mandatory.

    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  March 14, 2013 at 11:59 am

      I see your point — I wonder why the article is so wishy-washy about it. The bill (as I read it) is pretty clear:

      Boards of directors must approve AP computer
      science courses as equivalent to high school mathematics or science,
      and must denote on a student’s transcript that AP computer science
      qualifies as a math-based quantitative course for students who take the
      course in their senior year.

      • 3. Edward Buj\ak  |  March 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm

        More fuzziness and wiggle room to maneuver. So the AP CS course *may* can count as math or science. Further if it counts as a “math-based quantitative course” then it must be noted on the student’s transcript. So if the AP CS course counts as science it does not have to be noted? More importantly the word “quantitative” bothers me. It sounds to me of the classic notion by many believing that math is formulas and numbers. Most good math classes are not plug-n-chug, rote memorization, and regurgitation), like good science classes are not, and like good CS classes are not. CS, math, and science teachers hopefully teach thinking (CT), observational, and logical reasoning. These 3 areas overlap a great deal that most edu-crats and politicians cannot fathom. These are not vertical courses; there is a great deal shared. Actually let’s propose multidisciplinary course such as bioinformatics (and other big data areas); it’s cs, it’s science, it’s math. I wonder what category that would fit into. The answer is that it really does not matter. What matters is the students are learning how to learn and critically think and formulate.

  • 4. Online Learners  |  March 28, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Is it mean that computer will be no other subject?? it will be included under math?? if it is then it will be worse, is the bill is passed or not yet???

    • 5. gasstationwithoutpumps  |  March 30, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      I think that “Online Learners” has missed the point. Currently computer science is counted only as an elective, which most students already have plenty of, so that an extra CS course offers no “points” towards graduation.

      Counting CS with math or science would allow students to take CS instead of calculus or chemistry. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on your beliefs about the relative merits of having high school students take chemistry or take CS. Students planning to go on in STEM fields should take as much science, math, and CS in high school as they can fit in, but students not planning to do STEM fields are likely to be better off taking CS than taking calculus or chemistry, as programming is a more useful skill.

      Personally, I’d like to see programming and statistics as required high school courses, replacing calculus and chemistry, but I doubt that we could find the teachers to make such a change at anything larger than a small private school.

  • […] now.  It could be more, but it hasn’t happened yet.  There’s a big effort going on in Washington and in Massachusetts now.  I don’t know of any organized effort anywhere to keep CS out of […]


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