500 Business, Educational & Nonprofit Leaders Call for Computer Science in K-12 Curricula – State Governors Endorse

As reported by EdSurge.com, in mid-July, a group of more than 500 business, education and nonprofit leaders called on states to update their K-12 curriculum to make computer science a core subject. In a letter sent to governors from all 50 states, they outlined the importance of computer science for every learner, not only those with an interest in pursuing a career in technology. NREF endorses this as a profoundly important step in support of STEM education for the students of our nation.

“To the Governors and Education Leaders of the United States of America: The undersigned leaders have joined forces to deliver a bipartisan message about opportunity and the American Dream. We call on you to update the K-12 curriculum in each state, for every student in every school to have the opportunity to learn computer science. This has broad support among parents, students, teachers, and employers. Why? Because computer science provides an essential foundation — not only for careers in technology, but for every career in today’s world. Studies now show that students who learn computer science outperform in school, university, and beyond.  …At a time when every industry is impacted by digital technology, our schools should teach every student how technology works, to learn to be creators, not just consumers. Instead, this basic skill is taught only to the lucky few, leaving most students behind, especially young women and students of color. The United States leads the world in technology, yet only 5% of our high school students study computer science. How is this acceptable? We invented the personal computer, the internet, and the smartphone. It is our responsibility to prepare the next generation for the new American Dream.” This is an excerpt; read the entire letter here.

As of July 14, the National Governors Association announced that 50 U.S. governors had signed on to the Governors’ Compact To Expand K-12 Computer Science Education, committing to (1) increase the number of schools offering computer science, (2) allocate funding for computer science, (3) create post-secondary career pathways in computer science, and (4) increase participation in computer science from traditionally underserved populations. There is now broad consensus that computer science should be part of the K-12 core curriculum. NREF will keep you posted with updates on this important movement in support of STEM education in our nation’s classrooms.