- As states implement computer science standards, developing a computer science teacher pipeline is a must for districts seeking to take steps to accelerate the process, District Administration reports. In some instances, partner organizations, like CodeVa in Virginia, for example, can work with schools to develop the pipeline.
- It's also crucial that districts be transparent about steps they take to implement computer science programming so other leaders can learn from their ideas. In Virginia, some educators worked it into other subject areas, merging data science and social studies to allow students to look at history through a data-driven lens.
- Additionally, Hour of Code activities allow students to learn about coding through short, interesting activities, such as creating animation to illustrate a story.
According to a 2019 report by the Code.org Advocacy Coalition, only 45% of the nation’s high schools teach computer science, and those courses often lack the participation of girls and underrepresented minorities. The report claims there is not enough funding for computer science-related professional development, which should be coming from state sources. To bring more diversity into the field, state funding should be given to districts making an effort to train and reach underrepresented minorities, the report says.
Last year, the University of Washington created a justice-focused computer science endorsement program for aspiring and practicing teachers. The curriculum reframes the computer science content in the Computer Science Teachers Association standards with an eye toward equity and justice. The effort focuses on diversifying the computer science teaching workforce and gives about 15 secondary teachers a computer science teaching endorsement each year.
Though 88% of teachers polled in a recent survey say computer science is important, only 20% say their students are being taught the skill. The gap exists due to the lack of a computer science curriculum, lack of funding and lack of incentive to fund it — since the subject isn’t tested.
This problem is compounded by teacher shortages. More than half of public school districts struggle to recruit and train STEM teachers. That figure rises to 90% in districts that serve Black and Latino students.