Computer Science Legislation Hits the Books

Computer Science Legislation Hits the Books

ON OCTOBER 2, 2014

Computer science education scored big on the legislative agenda this year, with California Gov. Jerry Brown signing three bills into law by the September deadline.

Out of eight proposed bills that came before the Legislature this year, three made it to the governor for his signature, and a concurrent resolution established the week of Dec. 8, 2014 as Computer Science Education Week. Together, these bills will pave the way for computer science courses to count for high school and college math requirements in certain cases. It will also take the state a step further toward establishing K-12 computer science standards.

AB 1764 allows students to take a computer science class that counts for one math credit when their school district requires them to finish more than two math classes. The bill was sponsored by Assembly members Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) and Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo).

SB 1200 from Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) addresses this issue at the college level by instructing California State University and requesting the University of California to set admissions standards for high school computer science classes that meet advanced math requirements.

And AB 1539 tackles this idea at the state policy level by asking the Instructional Quality Commission to consider developing K-12 computer science standards by 2019. Assembly member Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills) introduced the bill.

A number of organizations pushed for this legislation, including the Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools at University of California, Irvine; Code.org; TechNet; and the Computer Science Teachers Association. And now it’s a reality.

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