State approves new standards for computer science education
BALTIMORE — The Maryland State Board of Education approved a new set of standards designed to strengthen computer science education in Maryland, according to a news release.
The new standards integrate technology education throughout each grade level, and are designed to be specific, measurable, and include performance expectations. The standards, starting in kindergarten and progressing through high school, align to the national K-12 Computer Science Standards approved by the Computer Science Teachers Association last year.
“Our administration is committed to ensuring that Maryland’s students have the necessary tools and skills to Join your family and friends on a walk through the Festival’s winter wonderland of beautifully trimmed trees and holiday decor pursue their higher education goals and compete in an evolving job market,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “These new standards will provide a pathway to future opportunities by strengthening the vital computer skills needed for today’s 21st century workforce.”
The governor introduced legislation during the 2018 session of the Maryland General Assembly to require new standards for computer science education, and signed an executive order last year which declared computer science education a priority in Maryland public schools.
The governor also signed legislation providing more than $5 million in new funding for computer science education with a focus on closing the gender gap in schools across Maryland.
The Hogan administration hosted the Governor’s Coding Challenge at Bowie State University on Oct. 6 in partnership with Girls Who Code, which aims to grow the number of women in computer science. The organization has more than 80 clubs in Maryland and served as the inspiration for the Hogan administration’s ACCESS (Achieving Computer Science Collaborations for Employing Students Statewide) Initiative, which seeks to inspire Maryland students at a younger age to pursue careers in computer science.
The new standards include learning concepts across the broad range of computer science, from computing systems to data and analysis to the impact of computing on culture. They are the result of input from representatives from 31 organizations including participants from 15 local school systems, six postsecondary institutions, and 10 local businesses and nonprofit organizations.
“These standards move us that much closer to ensuring that students have a computer science instructional program aligned to the needs of tomorrow,” said State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon. “The standards also help address the state’s need for a diverse and talented information technology (IT) workforce.”
According to the Maryland Department of Commerce, the economic areas currently in highest demand are Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense, Agribusiness, BioHealth and Life Sciences, Financial Services, Cybersecurity and Information Technology, and the Military and Federal Government.