July 20, 2015 - Teachers and others interested in improving computing education in their states heard about efforts in three states and then discussed what they could do at home during the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Conference in Grapevine Texas on July 14, 2015. ECEP held a session “Changing Computing Education in Your State,” that drew some 30 attendees from 14 states.
Speakers shared the changes happening in Massachusetts (Rick Adrion), Georgia (Mark Guzdial), and California (Debra Richardson), what's been most successful for promoting change, and what's been the most challenging. (Slides are available here.) The audience then broke into small groups by region (e.g., Midwest, West, Southeast) to talk about how to make change and find opportunities to collaborate.
Some common issues and challenges surfaced in discussions included—
- Finding and defining pre-high school curricula
- The time-intensive process of defining teacher credentials, standards, and teacher education programs, and timing those processes so they inform each other
- Getting funding for computing education reform
- Learning how education policy works in a state
- The need to have a landscape report and a stakeholder group, finding leaders and organizing a group
- Competition between funding for career-technical education programs and computer science programs