Sacramento – Last week the state Board of Education approved the “California Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan,” which provides suggestions to not only increase the number of computer science classes offered, but also to train educators to teach them. In addition, the plan is designed to ensure students in K-12 everywhere have access to the classes.
Surprisingly, according to an EdSource report, only 39 percent of the state’s high school students currently have access to computer science courses. As a result, less than 4 percent of them are enrolled in such classes.
Part of the plan recommends integrating computer science into classes on other subjects in all grades. Unfortunately, the plan does not include funding for implementation. The plan is intended to help level the playing field for 60 percent of the state’s high school students who are minorities and account for up to 50 percent of all students enrolled in computer science introductory classes but represent only 16 percent of those in Advanced Placement classes.
Although the plan is promising it is also very expensive and there is no funding to implement it. Therefore, implementation is “suggested” and not mandatory. School officials are encouraged to seek philanthropic support to help pay for it. Other funding suggestions include potentially using federal funds available for teacher training which can be used to support technology among other options.