With Few US Students Taking CS Classes, Code.org ‘Scales Back’ Funding For CS Education
Education

With Few US Students Taking CS Classes, Code.org ‘Scales Back’ Funding For CS Education

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Education

Programming

With Few US Students Taking CS Classes, Code.org ‘Scales Back’ Funding For CS Education (acm.org)






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EditorDavid

from the US-CS-in-HS dept.

“In 2012, most CS teacher professional development was paid for by the National Science Foundation or Google.” And in the years that followed, 80,000 primary and secondary school teachers received opportunities to learn how to teach computer science without paying any fees — thanks to

tech-bankrolled Code.org

.

But is anyone taking the classes? Slashdot reader theodp quotes a Communications of the ACM post by University of Michigan professor Mark Guzdial:
In 2013, Code.org began, and they changed the face of CS education in the United States . It started out as just a video (linked here, seen over 14 million times), and grew into an organization that created and provided curriculum, offered teacher professional development, and worked with states and districts around public policy initiatives. A recent report from Code.org showed that 44 states have enacted public policies to promote computing education in the five years from 2013 to 2018, and much of that happened through Code.org’s influence….

Now, Code.org has announced that they are starting to scale back their funding, which begins a multi-year transition to shift the burden of paying for teacher professional development to the local regions…. The only question is whether it’s too soon. Will local regions step up and demonstrate that they value computer science by paying for it…? I’d guess that many states have between 40% and 70% of their high schools now offering computer science. However, even though many schools offer computer science, there are still few students taking computer science.

Indiana reported that

only 0.4% of Indiana high school students

had enrolled in their most popular course. Meanwhile in one region in Texas, 54 of 159 high schools offer computer science, yet

only 2.3% of their students have ever taken a computer science class

. But of course, there’s another issue.

“If Code.org (or NSF or Google) are paying for all the development of CS teachers, then the districts don’t get to say, ‘In our community we care about this and we care less about that.’ The U.S. education system is organized around the local regions calling the shots, setting the priorities, and deciding what they want teachers to teach.”


“No, no, I don’t mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish
it wasn’t this one.”
— Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN

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November 9, 2018

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