Computer Science, STEM Education Would Be Priorities for Hillary Clinton

By Alyson Klein — June 29, 2016 1 min read
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This post originally appeared on the Politics K-12 blog.

Computer science education and STEM education would get extra attention and resources under a proposal released by Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Clinton, who is visiting Galvanize, a technology and co-working site in Denver, on Tuesday, wants to partner with the private sector to train 50,000 new computer science teachers, either by bringing in new recruits to the teaching profession, or by giving existing educators additional training.

She’s also interested in helping schools and districts develop “innovative” schools that put a priority on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and helping kids learn through hands-on activities in so-called “maker spaces.” (Here’s a great explanation of those from my colleague, Ben Herold.) But she doesn’t attach a dollar amount to those plans.

And the former secretary of state wants to double the federal investment in the $120 million Investing in Innovation (i3) program, including a 50 percent set-aside for computer science education. That echoes a proposal from President Barack Obama to funnel more federal resources into computer science education.

It’s not clear how the i3 proposal will fly in Congress. The brand new Every Student Succeeds Act overhauled the i3 program, changing its name to Education Innovation and Research grants. The law also put some new policy twists on the program, which would, among other things, make it clear that the field, not the U.S. Department of Education, gets to decide what kinds of projects to try. That could make it tough to add a computer science focus to i3.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.