Search form

Offering Computer Science Not a High Priority for K-12 Administrators, Study Finds

Google in partnership with Gallup released the results of a year-and-a-half long study into the offering of computer science in the K-12 classroom and found that it falls surprisingly low on the list of priorities for administrators as a result of several barriers that make it difficult.

"Google found a range of dysfunctional reasons more K-12 students aren’t learning computer science skills. Perhaps the most surprising: schools don’t think the demand from parents and students is there," said

But "it’s not that parents don’t want computer science for their kids. A full nine in ten parents surveyed viewed computer science education as a good use of school resources. It’s the gap between actual and perceived demand that appears to be the problem."

Though students can readily learn computer science in college and go on to be successful in the field, the issue is with getting students interested to make that choice in the first place by exposing them early on.

"According to another study conducted by Google last year, those who had the opportunity to take an advanced-placement computer science exam were 46 percent more likely to indicate interest in a computer science major," the article said.

Administrators, educators, parents and even students are in agreement that computer science should be a staple in K-12 education to encourage talent in the field, but there are many barriers the study found to be preventing this.

Many administrators claimed that computer science simply couldn't be made a high priority to integrate into their school because other subjects to which testing assessments are tied are first priority. Another issue: a lack of budget to afford to bring computer science teachers in.

And even if bringing in more teachers was in the budget, many K-12 educators are not skilled enough to teach computer science thanks to a lack of professional development in the field.

"Bennett Brown, director of curriculum at Project Lead The Way, a nonprofit has developed a K-12 computer science program, says scaling professional development in order to have enough teachers actually qualified to teach computer science to kids is key—and also one of the biggest challenges," the article said. In order to combat what the study calls a "dire" state for computer science education, Google has taken on many initiatives to try and proliferate computer science courses in K-12 classroom nationwide.

"Some of the programs the company has already implemented include Google’s RISE Awards, which give out grants to organizations around the globe that promote computer science initiatives that reach girls, underrepresented minorities, and students facing socioeconomic barriers; and Made with Code, a campaign to get more girls into computer science."

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

Latest Education News
Read about the latest news in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Read about the latest news in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Read about the latest news in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Read about the latest news in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Teachers around the country are weighing the merits and potential fallout of engaging in politically-charged class...