Monday, January 3, 2011

Computer Science Education Pushed in Report

Computer science education is not a significant part of Pennsylvania’s public education curriculum, according to a report released by Carnegie Mellon University.

Report co-author Mark Stehlik says Pennsylvania is one of 14 states that doesn’t have a standard of teaching computer science.

Stehlik says as many schools have shifted their focus to traditional math and science courses, computer education has fallen by the wayside. The report says the number of both introductory and advanced computer science courses has actually dropped since 2005.

Among the dismal statistics were a total of just 784 African-Americans nationwide taking the Advanced Placement Computer Science exam. Additionally, only 17% of the AP test-takers were women.

“Lack of access to K-12 computer science education, or ‘privileged knowledge,’ is what education researchers have described as a significant social justice issue for the 21st Century,” according to the report.

The report calls for all levels of government to clearly define computer science education, and include classes not just on how to use computers, but also on how computers work.

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