Computing Education Bills go to Governor in California
Julie Flapan gave me permission to share this email to the members of ACCESS (Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools) in California — thanks, Julie!
Dear Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools:
We are thrilled to share the good news about two important computer science-related bills: AB 1764 (Buchanan/Olsen) and SB 1200 (Padilla) passed out of the legislature yesterday with unanimous approval and are awaiting the Governor’s signature. These bills are a step in the right direction, having the potential to expand opportunities and increase participation in computer science education. But our work is just beginning!
These bills have the potential to make computer science count for California’s high school students: with AB 1764, an advanced computer science course may count as a math credit toward graduation, and with SB 1200, computer science may count as a credit toward UC/CSU college admissions. Research has shown that making computer science count incentivizes students – especially those underrepresented in computing including girls and students of color – to enroll in computer science courses in high school. ACCESS has been working with Code.org, the College Board and UCOP to try to get math credit approval for AP CS-A. We hope this legislation will help support these efforts.
While these two bills represent a significant victory for computer science education, much work needs to be done to help establish robust guidelines for computer science coursework, promote high quality and engaging computer science curriculum, help prepare teachers to teach it, provide ongoing professional development, and most importantly, ensure that we are recruiting and retaining underrepresented students in meaningful computer science coursework that will help prepare students for college and careers.
If you have any further ideas or suggestions on how to fully realize the potential of these two bills, please don’t hesitate to contact either of us.
Julie Flapan and Debra Richardson
Executive Director, ACCESS and ECEP-CA
Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS)
Expanding Computing Education Pathways - California (ECEP-CA)
Professor and Chair, ACCESS