ECEP Launches a New Tool for State Change Efforts

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      Surveying the landscape of computer science education is a key stage in ECEP’s 5 Stage Model for State Change. As of 2022, 65% of our states have produced at least one landscape report. These reports help states identify not just data but other resources to develop strategic plans that drive CS education policy and advocacy efforts.

      Surveying the landscape of computer science education is a key stage in ECEP’s 5 Stage Model for State Change. As of 2022, 65% of our states have produced at least one landscape report. These reports help states identify not just data but other resources to develop strategic plans that drive CS education policy and advocacy efforts.

      The goal of the Toolkit and resulting landscape reports is for states to utilize data in service of broadening participation in computing (BPC) efforts. Understanding the computer science education ecosystem ensures that actions are data-driven and not based on assumptions about where CS is being taught, who has access to CS education, how many teachers are teaching CS, and where to focus often limited resources.

      In the spring of 2022, ECEP held a soft launch for our newly published Landscape Report Toolkit. We met virtually with CS education stakeholders in 10 states and hosted a virtual workshop series for three states beginning their landscape report planning. Thanks to funding from Google.org and the National Science Foundation, we now have a downloadable PDF that is available to all state teams who are considering writing a landscape report or updating a current report.

      The ECEP Landscape Report Toolkit walks teams through a typical landscape report process and features templates and common research questions for state teams to utilize in their own reports. ECEP state leaders in Hawaii, Maryland, and South Carolina served on the Landscape Report Toolkit writing team, ensuring that the final product included proven tools and strategies.

      ECEP Alliance Director and Co-Principal Investigator Sarah Dunton works closely with state teams developing landscape reports. She encourages leaders to develop landscape reports that will help their states to look critically at the condition of CS education in their state and respect the local context. Examples of state landscape reports are located on the ECEP website.

      “The key to a successful landscape report is that it reflects the unique landscape of each state,” Dunton said. “Teams will need to consider who the audience is for their report, what data is available or missing, and who needs to be included on the report development team.”

      The ECEP team wants to ensure that this toolkit is widely used, as landscape reports have a strong return on investment for states pursuing educational policy changes. If you are considering whether a landscape report is a good investment of time, effort, and resources, consider these points:

      • Are you in need of a tool that will help you Define CS education and utilize data to Inform current and new stakeholders?  
      • Do you have some initial plans to Advocate for CS education and want to Disseminate data or other aligned information on the state of CS in your district or state?
      • Do you want to Collaborate with broad-based teams of stakeholders and Strategize for sustainable change?
      • Are you Tracking data specific to equitable CS education and seeking ways to Sustain momentum toward CS for All?

      ECEP is available for coaching sessions on the development of landscape reports and other strategies that will aid your BPC efforts. State teams can connect with ECEP.