Yesterday, Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo (D) announced a new effort to bring computer science classes to every public school in the state by the end of 2017.
“Part of turning our economy around and creating jobs is making sure every student, at every level, has access to the new basic skill: computer science,” she said.
As of now, just one percent of Rhode Island public high school students are enrolled in a computer science course, according to the press release. And just 42 public high school students in the state took the Advanced Placement computer science exam in 2015.
In all likelihood, Rhode Island is in part heeding a call from President Obama to make K-12 computer science a priority. In January, the president announced a budget proposal that, if passed, would include $4 billion for states and $100 million for districts to expand access to K-12 computer science.
The Chicago, New York, and San Francisco school districts have all committed to making computer science courses available to all students in the coming years. Many states have passed laws recently that allow computer science to count as a math or science credit, rather than as an elective, toward high school graduation.
The Computer Science For Rhode Island (CS4RI) initiative will be coordinated in partnership with businesses and universities, including Microsoft, Code.org, General Assembly, Project Lead the Way, Brown University, and the University of Rhode Island.
In my State of the State I proposed expanding computer science programs → we're delivering on that promise. Rhode Island... Posted by Gina Raimondo on Monday, March 7, 2016
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- President Obama Announces ‘Computer Science for All’ Initiative
- San Francisco’s Cutting-Edge Plan: Bring Computer Science to All PreK-12 Students
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.