Computer Science Standards and Frameworks

A basic step for expanding computer science education through statewide public school systems is the development of definitions of computer science and what concepts and skills students should learn at what grade level. Currently, a few states and national organizations are creating or revising standards and frameworks for K-12 Computer Science education. As new initiatives and materials become available, we will post them to this page.

In June 2016, the National Association of State Boards of Education released a report on state progress toward the adoption of state learning standards.

National Efforts

K12CS.org

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), Code.org, Cyber Innovation Center (CIC) and the National Math & Science Imitative (NMSI), along with a team of advisors from K-12 schools, the tech industry and other national organizations, joined forces to develop a framework for CS education.

You can read more about the development of this framework and the partners working on this project on the K12CS website.     

Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)

Building on the ACM Model Curriculum for K-12 Computer Science Education, which was launched in 2003 and revised in 2006, the CSTA developed a comprehensive set of computer science standards for use by K -12 educators, administrators and other educational leaders and stakeholders. These standards, last revised in 2011, were re-released as the [Interim] CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards at the 2016 CSTA Annual Conference, held in San Diego.

You can read more about the CSTA Standards Revision Process on the CSTA website.

ECEP State Efforts

Indiana

The Indiana Department of Education released new science standards that include computer science standards for K -8. Last revised in 2010, the updated standards were adopted by the Indiana State Board of Education in April, 2016. Standards will be implemented in the 2016-17 school year. According to a draft overview of the standards, “the Indiana Academic Standards for Science – 2016 are designed to help educators, parents, students, and community members understand what students need to know and be able to do at each grade level within each content strand."

To review the Indiana standards, refer to the Indiana Department of Education’s website.

Massachusetts

In 2013, the Massachusetts Department of Early and Secondary Education (DESE) began discussions with the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN), a coalition of business associations, technology companies, educational institutions, researchers, teachers, and non-profits, to begin building a foundation to promote CS education in Massachusetts K-12 schools. At the time, Massachusetts educators had access to the 2008 Technology Literacy Standards. It was decided that a new set of standards would be developed using the 2008 standards and drawing on standards such as the CSTA standards. The Massachusetts Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards were adopted in June 2016.  

To review the Massachusetts standards and learn more about the process of development, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Education Website at: http://www.doe.mass.edu/stem/standards.html 

South Carolina             

In August 2016 South Carolina began the development phase of the South Carolina Computer Science Standards. Working with a team that included representatives from higher education, K-12 and district leaders, the South Carolina Department of Education has a draft version of their standards. Lindsay Boozer, Office of Standards and Learning, is available to respond to questions about the standards. 

Texas

The 9-12 computer science standards are available for download from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). From the homepage of the TEA run a search for Computer Science and you will have the option to download a PDF of the current standards.

Non-ECEP State Efforts

Iowa

In May 2017 Iowa passed a law that will allow the state Department of Education to develop standards and create a credential for K-12 computer science teachers. Work will begin on standards, CS policies and guidelines in November 2017. 

Florida

Florida’s Department of Education released a draft of K-12 computer science standards.

Washington

On December 8, 2016 Washington State adopted the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards as their own.

States are moving quickly to advance CS education in K-16. If your state has or is in the process of developing new CS standards and would like to share information and/or resources, please contact Sarah Dunton, ECEP Alliance Manager.