Rethinking Perkins to Expand Access to K-12 Computer Science

Expanding Computer Education Pathways (ECEP) collaborated with on a document that helps state and district leaders consider how Career and Technical Education (CTE) can support computer science (CS) education. “Rethinking Perkins to Expand Access to K-12 Computer Science” was co-written by the two organizations and released in fall 2016.
CTE, which is federally funded under the Carl D. Perkins CTE Improvement Act of 2006 (“Perkins”), is one way to increase access to computer science. The document suggests that:

  • CS courses be offered in both CTE and non-CTE programs
  • CS courses should be available to students in and not in CTE pathways
  • dual-coded CS courses be eligible for Perkins funding
  • CS courses could be taught by CTE and non-CTE teachers
  • an AP CS exam could substitute for an end-of-CTE-pathway certification

The joint document began in spring 2016 when federal officials asked ECEP for input about the challenges and opportunities for bringing computer science to all students. ECEP leaders gathered input, experiences, and suggestions from ECEP state members about issues encountered in CS and CTE. ECEP was pleased to collaborate with to bring the ideas and recommendations to a wider audience via’s policy development resources. The U.S. Department of Education’s CTE office echoed some of these recommendations in a blogpost during 2016 CS Education Week.