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Efforts to bring computer science to all students make progress


Efforts are expanding at all levels to increase computer science education

A new initiative announced at the White House’s Sept. 14 Summit on Computer Science Education aims to give every student from kindergarten through high school in-demand computer science skills many employers say they want, but cannot find, in today’s young workers.

The nonprofit CSNYC announced the launch of the CSforAll Consortium, a national organization formed in reaction to the growing computer science education community, bipartisan support for CS, and President Obama’s call to action to give every student access to computer science education.

The move also comes at a time when advocates are urging that computer science be offered as a core class instead of only as an elective. Many states are beginning to accept computer science courses for a math or science credit to fulfill graduation requirements.

Computer Science for All (#CSforAll) aims to empower K-12 students to learn CS and build the computational thinking skills they need to be creators in the digital economy, not just consumers, and to be active citizens in a technology-driven world.

In addition to the national #CSforAll initiative, regional initiatives exist as well. Codesters, part of the national movement, also is a key partner in the CodeBrooklyn campaign (@CodeBrooklyn) championed by Borough President Eric L. Adams (@BPEricAdams) to advance computer science in Brooklyn’s 500 public schools.

“Codesters has been essential to expanding the reach of computer science into underserved schools in Brooklyn”, said Rob Underwood (@BrooklynRob), co-founder of CodeBrooklyn and Executive Director of TeachCS, which helps fund professional development for new CS teachers. Underwood is also a part-time strategic advisor to Codesters.

The CSforAll Consortium website will serve as a hub for families, schools, and districts looking for resources that match their needs, including content by grade level and target audience. The site will help connect members of the national CS education community, provide an avenue for disseminating their work, and track our collective progress toward the goal of providing every student with the opportunity to learn CS.

With funding from the National Science Foundation, CSNYC will convene the Consortium, which currently comprises more than 180 organizations including nonprofits, government, industry, and education organizations, as well as experts and advocates who contribute to the growth of the CS education movement.

The Consortium steering committee will be chaired by CSNYC and includes the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Code.org, The College Board, the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).

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Laura Ascione

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