Nevada is among ten states that have implemented K-12 computer science standards. Others should follow their lead.
For the past three years, I’ve worked with numerous states and hundreds of school districts to expand access to K-12 computer science. I’ve also seen first-hand how policymakers and administrators play a huge role in the expansion of CS instruction…as well as in the obstruction of CS implementation. Nevada is among a handful of states leading on policies to expand access to K-12 computer science now that the governor has signed SB 200.
Less than half of all schools in Nevada offer any computer science courses making it impossible for most students to learn computer science even if they want to. To ensure every student truly has the opportunity to learn this foundational skill, SB 200 requires every school district to build the capacity to offer at least one high-quality computer science class in every secondary school by the start of the 2022 school year.
This summer, a team of Nevada educators and CS experts will build out standards for computer science education, to define exactly what high-quality computer science education will look like for Nevada. They’ll join the 9 other states across the U.S. that have such standards.
We know that just having standards for computer science don’t do much on their own, which is why Nevada has dedicated $2.4 million towards preparing new computer science teachers. These funds ensure that school districts across the state will have the resources they need to meet the 2022 requirement.
This ambitious goal wouldn’t have been possible without a team effort. Championed by a bipartisan group, Gov. Sandoval, Nevada School Board of Education Member Mark Newburn, the Nevada STEM Advisory Council, and Senator Joyce Woodhouse made this initiative a reality. They all believe in the importance of CS education for every student in Nevada, and see the collective benefits this could bring to their state. We encourage other state leaders to take similar steps towards ensuring their students are equipped with these foundational skills, and encourage them to follow Gov. Sandoval’s example and join the Governor’s partnership for computer science education.
To the students of Nevada: I can’t wait to see how you change the world through computer science!
Jake Baskin, Director of State Government Affairs, Code.org