Computer science education has seen increased support over the past few months, which is a good sign for K-12 students.
Last month, more than 500 tech and education leaders signed a letter by Code.org, a nonprofit that aims to promote computer science education, supporting the call-to-action to provide every student the opportunity to learn computer science.
“Together we urge you, for the sake of our students, our economy, and our country, to work together to update the K-12 curriculum for every student in every school to have the opportunity to learn computer science,” the letter reads.
Soon after the letter was released, 50 governors signed the Governors’ Compact for Computer Science, a commitment to expand CS opportunities for K-12 students.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the CS field is expected to grow 13% by 2030, a faster rate than all other occupations.
However, there aren’t enough graduates entering the profession to keep up with the projection. Two million bachelor’s degrees were awarded in the 2018-2019 school year, yet only 4% were CS-related, according to an April report from Tech Serve Alliance.
Research shows students who learn computer science yield several academic benefits:
- Improvements in creativity, math and reasoning
- Improved scores on standardized exams
- Increased chance of attending college
More from DA: LGBTQ+ student protections: Politics are getting in the way
More recently, research indicates a need for CS education for students with learning disabilities.
The article, published in Policy Futures in Education in February, addresses how CS and technical education courses benefit students with learning disabilities. According to the results, students with learning disabilities who participated in CS and technical education courses reported having greater levels of optimism and self-efficacy regarding their ability to achieve a career in STEM.
However, the authors also address an unknown issue: Students with learning disabilities typically don’t pursue CS education in college or careers, despite reporting increased self-confidence in high school.
The study concludes by inviting district leaders to expand CS and technical education opportunities for students to strengthen the pipeline into the profession in the hopes of guiding individuals with learning disabilities into the field.