CA’s computer ed specialists, almost 30 years behind


by Tom Chorneau

(Calif.) In 1987, when IBM was still a player in the desktop computing market and Apple’s primary product was still the Mac, officials overseeing teacher preparation programs in California began work on designing a supplemental authorization that would cover the new emerging industry.

As unlikely as it might seem, the content study required to gain the Computer Concept and Application Supplemental Authorization hasn’t changed since – despite the breakneck speed at which electronic technology has evolved in the last 30 years.

Perhaps even more ironic is that every K-12 teacher that has come through the system over the last decade has been exposed to at least as much computer science content training as required for the supplemental authorization.

To remedy the imbalance, the state’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing has launched an update of the computer science specialty – although intentionally only an interim step as broader questions surrounding instruction in coding, web design and telecommunications are considered.

Still, officials at the CTC acknowledge that the existing requirements for obtaining the computer science authorization are almost embarrassingly out of date.