33 States Adopted 57 Computer Science Ed Policies since 2018
Excerpt from Education Dive Brief
Idaho's initiative is led by the state’s STEM Action Center, which has funded professional development and resources for educators, allowing communities to host trainings and promotional events around STEM. When Idaho passed legislation in 2018 requiring computer science course offerings in every public school, executive director Angela Hemingway said the state was on “very positive trajectory.”
Now, she said, computer science education is spreading thanks to a “significant need” for it in the job market.
“We recognize that literacy in the 21st century is no longer just having students be able to read,” Hemingway said. “We have to help students understand the importance of computational skills and processes that were not as common in the workforce just a decade ago.”
Hemingway suggested that states and districts looking to expand STEM programs should partner with local industry representatives, as industry stakeholders have a powerful voice at the table when it comes to political state- and district-level funding decisions. Having stakeholder support made Idaho’s initiative successful, she said.
Idaho also established a "bridge" program in February that places teachers in local businesses where they can get hands-on work skills and understand the “complexity of the industry.”
The program is expected to expand as it enters its second year, with an increasing number of teachers applying for placement.