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Draft Standards Neglect Computer Science, Coalition Says

The first public draft of common science standards is coming under fire from a coalition that says the document gives short shrift to computer science and its role in the K-12 curriculum.

"As stakeholders very much concerned about the state of computer-science education in the country's elementary and secondary schools, we assert that the [draft standards] fall short when it comes to addressing the need to ensure that the critical field of computer science is part of the core curriculum," writes the Computing in the Core coalition in a letter issued last week.

Don't be surprised to hear more pushback in coming weeks and months from various individuals and organizations about the proposed science standards, which are being developed by a group of 26 states, as well as experts in science and science education. The process is being managed by Achieve, a Washington-based group that played a similar role in the development of the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics.

The deadline for the first of two rounds of public comment on the Next Generation Science Standards closed last Friday. For the big picture about the standards, check out this EdWeek story.

"While the draft science standards include elements of computer science and computing concepts in the Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science topics, the attention paid to the discipline of computer science does not match its importance in terms of workforce demand and the opportunities it presents young people in the 21st century," the coalition says.

For more on the challenges in computer-science education and efforts to ramp up its presence in public schools, check out this EdWeek story.

The members of Computing in the Core include the Association of Computing Machinery, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the National Center for Women and Information Technology, as well as corporations such as Google, Microsoft, and Oracle.

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