A detailed examination of state systems for certifying computer science teachers concludes that there are fundamental problems with the approaches nationwide and argues that the situation is a major barrier to ensuring high-quality educators in the subject and preparing students for a promising field.
The report from the Computer Science Teachers Association describes the certification landscape as “confused, disparate, and sometimes absurd.”
The report finds that only two states, Arizona and Wisconsin, require teachers to specifically be certified or licensed in computer science to teach any course in the subject. In another seven states, such a credential is required for teaching Advanced Placement computer science. In many states, computer science teachers must or can be certified or licensed in a department or area other than computer science, such as math, science, business, or career-technical education.
The upshot, the report says, is that in many states, “teachers with little or no computer science knowledge can teach it.”
A version of this article appeared in the August 28, 2013 edition of Education Week as Flaws Cited in Certifying Computer Teachers