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Law Gives California Officials Two Years to Create Implementation Plan to Provide Computer Science to All

Law Gives California Officials Two Years to Create Implementation Plan to Provide Computer Science to All

Last week, California governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that outlines how state officials should start preparing to bring computer science education to all of the state’s students.

Officials will have a little over two years to finalize a strategic implementation plan to be "adopted by the state board to the Legislature in conformance with Section 9795 of the Government Code on or before January 1, 2019,” the law states.

The process begins by requiring the creation of a computer science strategic implementation panel which will consist of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, a representative of the Governor, representatives from the state legislature, six K-12 teacher representatives, faculty members from several of the state’s colleges and universities, a representative from the private sector technology industry and a few others.

This panel, which must be formed by September 1, 2017, will be responsible for submitting "recommendations for a computer science strategic implementation plan to the department, the state board, and the Legislature.”

The law outlines what these recommendations must touch on, including ways to train teachers to teach the subject, defining standards that dictate what K-12 students should learn, ways to increase the number of underrepresented student groups in the field and more.

Throughout the process, a statewide liaison will be appointed in order to get input from the public and ensure panel recommendations are being implemented.

While the state has two years to come up with a plan, it is unclear how long the implementation plan will give officials to act and therefore could mean universal computer science education is still many years away.

For an idea of how long it might take the state after drafting an implementation plan, New York City officials set aside a decade to provide computer science education to all of its 1.1 million students and to train over 5,000 teachers to make it possible.

In order to do the same for California’s 6 million plus K-12 students, a similar timeline is likely to be expected. 

Read the full text of the law here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

10/3/2016

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