California Candidate Questionnaire on Computer Science

The Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS) and the Computer Science for California (CSforCA) project invited the top candidates for Governor and Superintendent of Public Instruction to respond to questions related to their agenda for computer science education in California. The questionnaire is intended to be a resource to learn about the candidates’ positions on expanding equity and access to computer science in K12 public education in California and to increase awareness of CS education. We do NOT endorse nor oppose candidates for office.

The questionnaire was created with feedback provided by CSforCA supporters. All candidates have been offered the opportunity to complete a written response. Emails were sent to the campaigns of gubernatorial candidates Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and John Cox as well as State Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck. All candidates were advised that if their responses were received on time, they would be published verbatim (not to exceed 2500 words) on the ACCESS website www.access-ca.org in September 2018. If responses were not received by August 31, 2018, the publication would state “Did Not Respond”.

Letter to all candidates

2018 Gubernatorial Candidate Responses

2018 State Superintendent of Public Instruction Candidate Responses

 

September is Computer Science Education month in California

This summer, the legislature passed ACR 265, designating September 2018 as California Computer Science Education Month. The measure encourages schools, teachers, researchers, universities, business leaders, and policymakers to support teachers with cutting-edge professional development and to provide sustainable learning experiences in computer science education, encouraging access to opportunities for females and underrepresented students in computer science.

Also this month, the State Board of Education is anticipated to take action on the Instructional Quality Commission’s recommendations for new California K12 Computer Science Standards and CDE staff will provide the Board with an update on the California Computer Science Strategic Implementation Advisory Panel meetings and an overview of the CCSSIP recommendations to broaden the pool of teachers to teach computer science and to ensure that all pupils have access to quality computer science courses.

Please see the latest ACCESS Update for more detailed information.

Make AP CS Count Toward Core Requirements for University of California Admission

California is known as a world leader in driving the digital age through our information technology sector. Yet, few students have access to high-quality K-12 computer science education in the state. A key issue is that rigorous computer science courses typically do not satisfy a core mathematics or science graduation requirement for entrance to the UC system. We are seeking program status (statewide recognition) for AP Computer Science (CS) Principles and AP Computer Science A to be allowed to satisfy a mathematics “c” or science “d” credit for University of California admissions.

Although Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District is in the heart of the Silicon Valley – home to many high-tech companies including Google, Intuit, AOL, Adobe, Microsoft, NASA Ames, Silicon Graphics, and Oracle – as recently as 2012 there was no college preparatory computer science course offered at the district’s two comprehensive public high schools. And this lack of access is widespread across California. Just under 4,000 students took the AP Computer Science A exam in 2012, compared to more than 31,000 for AP Biology and almost 60,000 for AP Calculus. Limited access also creates serious gender and equity issues for underserved minorities. In 2012, only 45 African Americans and 306 Latinos took the AP CS A exam.

California CS Counts for AG

Public Hearing open for the Computer Science Supplementary Authorization

Supplementary Authorization in Computer Science

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing is considering a proposal to change the current, outdated Supplementary Authorization in Computer Concepts and Applications (CCA) with one explicitly focused on Computer Science, changing both the name as well as the content areas. This proposed change was first presented this at the February 2015 Commission meeting (item 6B), where the concept was unanimously approved. Relevant amended regulations, presented at the June Commission meeting (item 7B, Part I), were also unanimously approved. The final public hearing will be held at the October Commission meeting, item 1I on Friday, October 9 2015.

The current CCA authorization requires coursework that covers only the use of computers (i.e., software evaluation and selection, hardware operation and functions, and classroom uses of computers). Moreover, this content has now become addressed within the preliminary preparation program standards for all general and special education teaching credentials and is thus redundant.

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 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 in grades K-12).

For full information, you can study Coded Correspondence 15-06—Proposed Amendments to Title 5 Regulations Pertaining to the Supplementary Authorization in Computer Science (you may need to open this in something other than Safari). We are currently in the 45-day public comment period before the final CTC step to approve the new authorization in CS.  So, now is the time to submit your support letters and/or comments.  Responses must arrive by 5:00 PM on October 5 to be considered for the October 9 public hearing. It is important that they see broad support for the authorization.

You can send a letter of support via email to David Crable <DCrable@ctc.ca.gov>, or send a hard copy to

David Crable
Certification Division
Commission on Teacher Credentialing
1900 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95811-4213.

You can also merely voice your support by marking and sending the Response Form at the end of the coded correspondence.  The Commission has indicated that the best mechanism is to send a marked response form, whether sent alone or with a letter attached, as it allows them to immediately identify the purpose of the correspondence.  For your convenience, you can find just the Response Form here.

Please contact me if you have any questions. I thank you for your continued support.

Debra Richardson
ACCESS Steering Committee Chair

California Computer Science Legislation Introduced Spring, 2015

  1. AB 1258, (Chau). Elementary and secondary education:Computer Science Education Grant Program.

    This bill would establish the Computer Science Education Grant Program under the administration of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Under the program, eligible school districts would apply to receive funding under either or both of the 2 grant programs. One grant program, the Computer Science Start-Up Courses Grant program, would provide grants to establish and maintain computer science courses, and the other grant program, the Computer Science Educator Training Grant program, would provide professional development for educators to teach computer science, either as a stand-alone course or integrated into other courses.

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  3. AB 252, (Holden). Advanced placement program: grant program: STEM curriculum.

    This bill would establish a grant program overseen by the department for purposes of awarding grants to cover the costs associated with a high school establishing or expanding its advanced placement STEM curriculum.

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  5. AB 482 (Harper). Concurrent enrollment in secondary school and community college.

    This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation later in the 2015–16 Regular Session regarding concurrent enrollment in secondary school and community college for pupils pursuing studies related to computer science.

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  7. ACR 17, as amended, Chang. Women and Girls in STEM Week.

    This measure would designate April 5 to April 11, inclusive, 2015, as Women and Girls in STEM Week, would encourage all citizens and community organizations to support the observance of California Women and Girls in STEM Week by encouraging and celebrating women in the STEM fields.