- The Inland Empire Code Consortium is composed of the Riverside Unified School District and 10 others east of Los Angeles, all of which serve 272,700 students, and have united to increase the number and diversity of students taking computer science classes.
- EdSource reports the consortium has so far expanded training for teachers at all grade levels in computer science so elementary and middle school teachers can integrate computer science concepts into math and science courses and high school teachers can teach standalone courses.
- Participating districts have large Latino student populations — a focus on these students, along with black students and girls, is meant to combat national participation disparities — and already, area businesses are looking to these students as a pipeline for potential future workers.
Computer science education has been at the heart of efforts to better align current student instruction with workforce needs. Computational thinking and other computer science principles have become critical to a range of careers and an oft-mentioned skills gap is already making it hard for employers to find qualified people to hire. Even students who never go into computer science fields can take advantage of K-12 exposure to the subject in their personal and professional lives that surely involve computers.
High schools that champion computer science courses have begun to form partnerships with feeder elementary and middle schools so students get early exposure to computer science, which can later lead to sustained interest. While Hour of Code events are good opportunities to get students excited about some of the possibilities of computer science, districts must be sure to follow up these events with deeper learning.