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States Start to Adopt Computer Science as Graduation Requirement

States Start to Adopt Computer Science as Graduation Requirement

A common trend is spreading throughout the country where states are trying to make computer science courses required for graduation.

According to an article on USNews.com, organizations such as Code.org, the Computer Science Teachers Association and Microsoft “have been advocating for more states to pass policies allowing computer science courses to count toward high school math and science graduation requirements.”

“And in just one year, the number of states doing so has roughly doubled – 25 states and the District of Columbia make it count,” the article said. “But there’s still a long way to go, as most schools nationwide don’t offer computer science classes, whether due to financial or logistical struggles, or a lack of resources for teachers.”

Data from Code.org, the article said, show “that at current rates, the country will have 1 million more computer science jobs than students with computer science degrees by 2020.”

“Typically, students can take computer science courses as electives, but they don't count as a core course requirement for graduation,” said Cameron Wilson, chief operating officer and vice president of governmental affairs for Code.org. "That doesn't mean schools would have to teach it. It doesn't mean students would have to take it," Wilson said during the panel discussion. "What it means is students would have some motivation to take it as a core course instead of an elective."

In 2013, nine states had this policy, and eight states “have implemented the new policies”: Idaho, Kentucky, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, California and New York.

"There’s still a lot of work to be done, particularly in local control states where this needs to filter down to the local level," Wilson said. "But I’m not aware of any other policy ever that’s spread this fast, and I’m certainly not aware of any education policy that’s spread this fast."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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