Fixing the Computer Science Problem with an Act of Congress

Bills get written and submitted to Congress without getting passed all the time but if nothing else the process often gets the discussion going. A recent bill to assess and help improve the state of K-12 Computer Science Education has recently been introduced and conversation has started.

From Education Week:

Bill to Combat Comp. Science Crisis Introduced
Education Week (07/30/10) Quillen, Ian
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) has introduced the Computer Science Education Act, legislation that would assess K-12 computer science education in the United States, create a commission to review the field’s national landscape, and establish field-specific programs at teacher-preparation institutions. ACM says the changes implemented as a result of the bill would help address "uneven or nonexistent" standards in K-12 computer science, a lack of professional development and clear path to certification for teachers, and a decline in courses for students. "Computer science is driving an economic and cultural revolution across the globe at the same time that it is fading from the K-12 landscape in the U.S.," says ACM CEO John White. "We simply are not doing enough to help students get exposure to engaging and rigorous computer science." ACM has endorsed the legislation, as has Microsoft, Google, Intel, SAS, and the Computer Science Teachers Association.

Can this bill, if passed, fix things? Not by itself but I think it is a good start. We have to do something and fixing CS bottom up is clearly not working. Why? I think it is because getting administrators and school boards to see anything as important is very difficult unless they see the potential for outside money coming into the system. This bill might just do that. I still see it as a sort of bootstrap process but you have to start pulling somewhere.

Comments (1)

  1. Alfred is so right! No one bill can fix everything but this is a good start. Right now computer science is mostly ignored within STEM educational funding and we need that to change. The best way to support this effort is to contact your congressional rep. and ask him/her to support this bill.