Curriculum

States Have Adopted Dozens of Policies to Support Computer Science Education, Report Finds

By Alyson Klein — September 11, 2019 1 min read

It’s no secret computer science education is seen as one of smartest ways to prepare students for the future of work.

And in the last 12 months, 33 states have adopted a total of 57 policies to support computer science education, according to a report out today from the nonprofits including Code.org, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance. For instance:


  • Alabama set a timeline by which every middle and high school would be required to offer basics in computer science and computational thinking.
  • Connecticut required all teacher preparation programs to include instruction in computer science.
  • Indiana adopted a state computer science plan, made changes to computer science standards and curriculum and is appropriating $3 million to the subject.

Despite all that activity, across 39 states, only 45 percent of high schools teach computer science. And students receiving free and reduced-price lunch and those from rural areas are less likely to have access to those courses, the report found.

Code.org recommends states:


  • Create a plan for K-12 computer science;
  • Establish standards for K-12 computer science education;
  • Allocate funding for computer science professional learning;
  • Implement certification pathways for computer science teachers;
  • Create post-secondary programs to offer pre-service training to teachers;
  • Establish dedicated computer science positions at the district and state levels;
  • Require that all secondary schools offer computer science; and
  • Consider making computer science both a core graduation requirement for high schoolers and an admissions requirement for state postsecondary institutions.

For now, most states don’t meet all those recommendations, although some are adopting them at a quick rate. Right now, for instance, just 19 states make it a requirement for all high schools to offer computer science. That’s a big uptick though, from 2017, when just four states required those courses. And 34 states have adopted K-12 computer science standards, a major jump from 6 states in 2017.

Image: Getty


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A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.