2015 Fall Update Newsletter

Supplementary Authorization in Computer Science

Public Hearing October 9, 2015
Submit Response Forms and/or Comments
by Monday, October 5

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing is considering a proposal to replace the current, outdated Supplementary Authorization in Computer Concepts and Applications with one explicitly focused on Computer Science at their October Commission meeting, item 1I, on Friday, October 9 2015. You can find out the history, with pointers to further details here.

The proposed CS authorization strengthens the required content areas of study to prepare teachers to teach the full range of K-12 Computer Science courses being offered in California. Teachers holding the authorization will have the knowledge to introduce students to the creation of computing technology (e.g., computational thinking, programming, digital devices, impacts of computing). The specified content areas are differentiated by an introductory CS authorization (which basically authorizes teaching curriculum level grade 9 and below) and a specific CS authorization (which authorizes teaching content at any grade level).

You can send your support and/or comments to the Commission. It is important that they see broad support for the authorization.  You can voice your support by marking and sending the Response Form (from the end of the coded correspondence), including a letter if you have further comments. Responses must arrive by 5:00 PM on October 5 to be considered for the October 9 hearing.  Full instructions and address are here.

Contact Debra Richardson, ACCESS Steering Committee Chair, if you have any questions. I thank you for your continued support.


Policy Briefing Summary
“Beyond Coding: Advancing K12 Computer Science Education in California”

Held on August 25, 2015

With over 50 participants in attendance at “Beyond Coding:  Advancing K12 Computer Science Education in California” held at the State Capitol on August 25th, 2015 computer science education was in the forefront of the minds of legislators, education advocates, teachers, and industry representatives.   Organizations as diverse as Microsoft, County Offices of Education, California Department of Education, Chambers of Commerce, University researchers, and various non-profit STEM organizations were actively engaged in a discussion about how best to approach equitable expansion of computer science education in California.

The event was organized by the “Beyond Coding” Steering Committee, and funded in large part by a grant from Google.  Key organizers and speakers included ACCESS, CSLNet, Code.org, Technet, and Google along with participation from the Silicon Valley Education Foundation and the LA Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to a landscape analysis of computer science education, equity and workforce needs, the presentation included a preview of new data from a Gallup/Google poll on the mismatch of supply and demand for CS education in California’s schools.

A highlight of the program was a closer look at computer science education in action with model school and district programs and how they’re overcoming barriers to access and equity.  Insights were shared by Harry Cheng from UC Davis C-STEM program, Jared Amalong, CS teacher and ICT Sector Coordinator from Placer County Office of Education, and Emily Smith, a former student from Granite Bay High School now enrolled in a CS program at Sierra College.  Ms. Smith shared her unique experiences as a woman in her male-dominated CS classes and how she would have benefitted from greater preparation prior to her enrollment in AP CS, consistent with ACCESS’ recommendations.

A review of California CS education policy as well as a national perspective were discussed with opportunities for actions.

We are grateful to many legislators and their staff who were actively engaged in the discussions and shared closing observations including:

  • Senator Holly Mitchell
  • Assemblymember Ed Chau
  • Assemblymember Rocky Chavez
  • Assemblymember David Chiu

Staff from Assemblymembers Gordon, Holden, Calderon were also in attendance.

Following the roundtable, a large group gathered for refreshments at Technet and discussed ways to continue this collaboration.

ACCESS in the News

Why Computer Science Matters

Why computer science matters

Gary Page and Julie Flapan co-authored an article “Why Computer Science Matters” for the September/October 2015 Leadership magazine of the Association of California School Administrators, found on page 34.  The theme of the issue is Building Capacity for Equity and Excellence.   This article helps further our ACCESS goal to influence school-based decision makers about computer science in general and to promote ECS and CSP as best practices as well as our partner organizations C-STEM, PLTW, and Code.org.

Google/Gallup Poll shows Demand for K12 CS Education

Kids in class
The recent Gallup poll commissioned by Google confirms our hunch that administrators lack sufficient knowledge and awareness about CS and in particular, the lack of equitable opportunities in our schools.  Here is a link to an article in Diverse Issues in Higher Education with quotes from ACCESS that share these important findings.

CDE STEM Conference

California STEM Symposium

Please join us at the upcoming Californians Dedicated to Education 2015 STEM Symposium October 29-30 in Anaheim.   Our presentation will be held Friday morning, October 30th and will feature an award-winning teacher and student from Foshay High School sharing their experiences with Exploring Computer Science.  Other topics at the conference include:

  • Diversity, Girls, and Inclusion in STEM
  • California’s Updated Standards: Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards
  • Business, Community, and Post-Secondary Partnerships
  • STEM Learning Across Disciplines
  • STEM in Out-of-School/Expanded Learning and Pathways
  • STEM and the Arts
  • Leadership in STEM

Hour of Code
December 7-13,2015

Hour of CodeThe Hour of Code is coming, December 7-13, 2015.

Sign up now to host an Hour of Code during Dec. 7-13.

100,000 classrooms
Together, code.org wants to reach 100,000 Hour of Code events around the world in December. Be one of the organizers who proves anybody can learn, and every young person deserves to learn how to build technology that will impact everything in their futures.


Copyright © 2015 Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools, All rights reserved.

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp