Idaho just became the second state in the country to adopt a robust policy plan to expand computer science in schools across the state. This is an impressive milestone and shows what can be achieved when teachers, students, legislators and community members work collaboratively toward the expansion of computer science education!
The release of the state’s K-12 CS State Plan includes all nine policies developed by the Code.org Advocacy Coalition, which cement CS as a fundamental element of public education. So far Arkansas is the only other state in the country to adopt all nine policies, which are outlined in the State of Computer Science Education Report.
Idaho’s vision for CS includes all high schools offering a computer science course by 2020, and all middle and elementary schools offering one by 2022. The plan also includes making CS a standalone high school graduation requirement by 2025.
Idaho has been a longtime leader in computer science, with commitments and actions from leaders across the state, including the governor, legislature, and state board of education. Success would not be possible without the support and advocacy of teachers in the state and the implementation by dedicated and passionate staff.
The Idaho STEM Action Center is a hub for innovation and progress for computer science in the state. Under the leadership of Dr. Angela Hemingway, the STEM Action Center is successfully implementing or supporting existing CS policies and initiatives. Code.org looks forward to a continued partnership with the STEM Action Center and state leaders.
Code.org’s regional partner, the Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDLA), has trained 704 teachers since 2014 impacting approximately 36,866 K-12 students across the state. IDLA has also secured partnerships with three universities to offer graduate credits to teachers who complete their computer science professional development. IDLA’s high quality programming and outreach to Idaho teachers has helped transform the landscape of computer science education in the state.
The Code.org Team is thrilled Idaho has accomplished this impressive milestone!
Some of Idaho’s CS policy highlights include:
- Providing a total of $6 million for FY 2017–2019 for the expansion of computer science throughout the state
- Adopting K-12 computer science standards in February 2017
- Offering one or more computer science courses to all high school students by 2020
- Counting AP CS or dual-credit CS as one math or up to two science credits for graduation
- Recommendations from a K-12 CS working group in 2016 focused on the expansion of CS.
- Governor Butch Otter is a member of the Governor’s Partnership for CS.
In the recently released State of Computer Science Education Report, an analysis showed the implementation of the nine policies directly correlated with more schools teaching computer science. We have no doubt Idaho students will see greater access computer science in the near future!
-Alexis Harrigan, Director of State Government Affairs