Brooks and Polis Introduce Bipartisan Computer Science Education Bill
The 2013 Computer Science Education Bill is going after the right things. The critical challenge in computing education today is getting more teachers. With only 2,000 advanced placement CS teachers in the United States, for over 25,000 high schools, over 90% of our high schools have no significant computer science. We can’t get more computer science out there without more teachers. Tapping into federal professional development budgets is critical to ramp up those needs.
We desperately need to change the way that we think about computer science. Only 11 states even let their high schools count CS classes towards high school graduation requirements! No wonder so few students are going into computer science, if so few of them even see it. Computer science is as critical to the 21st Century as mathematics and science. We have to treat it the same way.
The bill amends the definition of what is considered a “core academic subject” in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to include computer science. Funding set aside for core academic subjects may be used for a wide range of educational support, including professional development for educators, curriculum development and the purchasing of new technology. This no cost legislation provides additional flexibility not currently available when spending ESEA funds.