Expanding Access to Computer Science in High School

Expanding Access to Computer Science in High School

Expanding access to computer science courses — now available at just one out of 4 high schools – is the focus of several efforts at the state level that complement the President’s Computer Science for All Initiative and the Computer Science Education Coalition. Loretta Goodwin, Senior Director of American Youth Policy Forum, details efforts in Arkansas and Massachusetts that provide useful ideas for others interested in increasing access to computer science in high school. Read more here.  An interesting somewhat counter view comes from Esther Dyson and Lucy N. Friedman of ExpandED Schools, (partner in the NYC STEM Education Network) in a thought-provoking article published by the Washington Post on August 10, entitled Why More STEM Classes Won’t Solve the serious STEM Achievement Gap. They warn that if “an increased focus on STEM comes at the expense of sports and arts and humanities, we all lose,” arguing that low-income children miss out on extra-curricular opportunities to participate in hands-on learning – the arts, sports, civics, and science clubs that spark passion and curiosity, that foster growth mindsets, that provide failures and successes and experiences to learn from.” They say: “We must worry less about kids learning to read code, and more about them learning to read words and read people.”