Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I really believe that we need more computer science in education long before university. The only national influence on getting any computer science often seems to be the Advanced Placement Computer Science exam though. Good (or bad) as that may be it only effects a small number of schools (about 2000) and a small number of students (rightly 26000 in 2012 I hear). What we really need is for some influential group to speak up and say that computer science is core and needs to be everywhere.
Achieve is developing “Common Core” standards that are moving into adoption in a large number of states. One would like to think that they would be including computer science in the STEM core but they are not saying much about it. Aside from some mention of computational thinking (a good thing) the STEM standards do not really go strongly into emphasizing computer science. This is, in the opinion of many a real problem.
Computing in the Core (CinC) which also runs Computer Science Education Week posted a position on their news page yesterday that I think is worth reading. From Tell Achieve that the Next Generation Science Standards Should Include CS
Computing in the Core (CinC), which runs CSEdWeek, is deeply disappointed that both the math and science standards leave computer science by the wayside. While the math standards are well on their way to being implemented and assessed, Achieve’s new effort on the science standards is still in development, and they need to hear from you about the importance of having real, engaging computer science in these standards. (Draft Letter, .docx,.pdf,.txt)
Those of us who value computer science education and believe that its importance is being under valued and under taught have to get up and speak up. Now’s as good a time as any. Later may be too late.