Computer Science Ed Expands
December 04, 2017
at an event hosted by Code.org to kick off Computer Science Education
Week, 8 states, 76 school districts, and 102 organizations worldwide
made new pledges to expand access to computer science for millions of
students, focusing on diversity. Today's news was announced and
celebrated by some of the most powerful women in technology, including
Melinda Gates, Peggy Johnson of Microsoft, Sheryl Sandberg, and Susan
Wojcicki, as well as Governors Steve Bullock of Montana, Asa Hutchinson
of Arkansas, Eric Holcomb of Indiana, and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom of
Code.org also announced a new milestone of 10 million girls with student
accounts on its learning platform and $12 million in new philanthropic
funding from donors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,
Infosys Foundation USA, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Impacting every industry, computer science is essential to education in
the 21st century. A priority with rare bipartisan backing, computer
science in schools is also supported by 90% of parents. Yet most schools
don't offer it, leaving most students without access, and females and
students of color are greatly underrepresented in the field. Female
students constitute only 18% of university computer science graduates in
Fortunately, awareness of the need for computer science education and
equitable access is increasing, and the global movement continues to
grow. The Hour of Code campaign has reached 10% of all students
globally, and the Code.org platform now has over 22 million student
accounts, of which over 10 million are girls. One percent of the girls
active on Code.org last year in the US would make up the difference in
the computer science gender gap at US universities.
Pledging to bring computer science into schools
While over half the schools in the US don't currently offer a single
course that teaches computer science, at today's event, states and
school districts made pledges and announcements to address this issue in
their own schools. Other organizations made additional pledges to
accelerate the progress of changing this educational landscape. And to
reflect the global momentum behind computer science in schools, 20
countries and global partners made similar commitments.
A full list of pledges is detailed in a separate document. Highlights
•Florida Governor Rick Scott pledged
a one-time $15 million investment to expand opportunities for middle and
high school students to learn coding and computer science.
'•Arkansas pledged $500,000.00
towards the creation of a first-of-its-kind computer science stipend
program specifically for K-8 teachers.
•California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom
announced the launch of Computer Science for California, a new campaign
to make computer science education available to all California students
by 2025, which already includes commitments from 20 districts to offer
computer science at all of their comprehensive high schools, reaching
over 1.1 million students.
•Governor Kay Ivey (AL), Governor
Steve Bullock (MT), Governor Tom Wolf (PA), and Governor Eric Holcomb
(IN) announced today that each will join the Governors Partnership for
K-12 Computer Science, thus committing to working toward developing
rigorous K-12 computer science standards, funding professional learning
for K-12 computer science teachers, and putting computer science in
every high school in the state.
•The Hawaii State Department of
Education will collaborate with key stakeholders to review K-12 computer
science standards and expand computer science learning opportunities.
•76 urban, suburban, and rural school
districts have pledged to expand access and diversity in computer
science including pledges by the Austin TX, Boston MA, Compton CA,
Fresno CA, Houston TX, Lincoln NE, Los Angeles CA, and Riverside CA
school districts to offer computer science in every high school.
•Over 80 nonprofits and universities
have pledged to prepare over 4,500 teachers to begin teaching computer
science to over 200,000 students in U.S. middle and high schools.
•Ecuador launched the Digital
Education Agenda which includes establishing computer science as a
foundational subject in the national curriculum as a major component.
•The United Kingdom has committed
£100 million in its 2018 budget to train 8,000 new computer science
teachers in secondary schools and establish a new National Centre for
•20 other international organizations
have pledged to expand computer science to programs reaching 20,000
teachers and over 2 million students.
"Since 2015, Arkansas has led the nation in computer-science education,"
said Governor Hutchinson. "I'm proud of the work we've done, and this
new K-8 stipend reinforces our commitment to provide students access to
computer science education in the best possible way, starting with the
"I am excited to join the efforts to expand access to computer science
education for all students in Alabama," said Governor Ivey. "We live in
a technology-driven world so I want to ensure our educational system
teaches in a technology-driven way."
"Our students need all of the tools available to be prepared to succeed
in our ever-changing world, and that includes opportunities to learn
computer science. That's why I'm initiating efforts to require all K-12
schools in Indiana to offer computer science by 2021," said Governor
"We know that the jobs of the future will demand new skills and savvy
with computers and technology," said Governor Wolf. "My goal is to
ensure that every school in our state offers a rigorous computer science
course, and the first step towards that is working with the State Board
of Education and Legislature to endorse computer science standards for
"California is the tech capital of the country and home to Silicon
Valley, but we don't teach our students the foundational skills to
access the jobs of the future. Right now most schools in California
don't offer any computer science classes and sadly, that disparity is
punctuated by striking gender and racial gaps," Lt. Governor Newsom
said. "I'm thrilled to announce the launch of CSforCA to make sure every
California student has access to high-quality computer science
"PwC is excited to announce a grant to Code.org to fund a middle-school
curriculum and support the training of computer science teachers over
the next three years. This commitment is a cornerstone of our Access
Your Potential® initiative, which is dedicated to closing the
opportunity gap," said Colleen Kipfstuhl, Director, Responsible Business
Recognition of progress and work to be done
at the event today, Code.org partnered with the Computer Science
Teachers Association to recognize and award the 2017 Champions for
Computer Science: the students, teachers, schools, districts, and
organizations making a tangible impact – from students developing a
wristband and app to help parents monitor their young children to
educators creating a hub to expand computer science to rural communities
statewide. 16 winners were recognized, but close to a thousand were
nominated, each making their own impact on the movement.
"While significant work remains ahead, today's pledges, dedication, and
support reflect unprecedented global momentum behind the vision that
every student in every school deserves the opportunity to learn computer
science," said Hadi Partovi, Code.org founder.