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The Commission on Teacher Credentialing is considering a proposal to replace the current, outdated Supplementary Authorization in Computer Concepts and Applications with one explicitly focused on Computer Science at their October Commission meeting, item 1I,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.

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2015 Summer Update Newsletter

ACCESS Summer Update 2015

Welcome to the Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools summer update about computer science education equity in California.  Please spread the word and invite your friends and colleagues to subscribe to our list by visiting access-ca.org to stay informed.

UC Program Status for
Exploring Computer Science

Exploring Computer Science logo

Exploring Computer Science (a project of UCLA Center X and the University of Oregon) has just been granted program status approval as a “G” elective with the University of California Office of the President.  This course can now easily be adopted by schools and districts across California through the high school articulation’s A-G Course Management Portal.   High schools can easily add a program’s “a-g” course to their own school’s “a-g” course list without having to prepare a full course submission to UC for review.  ECS strongly recommends teachers participate in the full ECS professional development program.  These P.D. workshops will be available annually to teachers interested in adopting Exploring Computer Science. More information can be found at www.exploringcs.org.

ECS version6 curriculumECS Curriculum has now been updated!
ECS version6 is now available for download at www.exploringcs.org/curriculum.







Computer Science Supplementary Authorization to Increase Pool of Qualified Teachers to Teach Computer Science in California

ACCESS has proposed an update of the current Computer Concepts and Applications Supplementary Authorization which is now under review by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The new Computer Science Supplementary Authorization incorporates computational thinking and problem solving in order to prepare teachers with the core skills and concepts of computer science.  In addition to better reflecting the current field of computing, the CS SA provides teachers who hold credentials in other subjects such as English, History, or Science, a path for acquiring the content and skills to teach computer science (including AP CS A and CS Principles and ECS).  For more information, contact Debra Richardson at djr@uci.edu or view her presentation to the CTC.

Path Not Found: Disparities in Computer Science Course Access in California High Schools

Path Not Found: Disparities in Computer Science Course Access in California High SchoolsLevel the Playing Field Institute’s new report, Path Not Found: Disparities in Computer Science Course Access in California High Schools exposes disparities in access to computer science in California’s public high schools.  The report also highlights dismal computer science enrollment in California’s 20 largest school districts and offers recommendations to close these gaps in opportunity.  LPFI invited ACCESS to participate in their press release which drew widespread coverage including a few listed here with quotes from ACCESS:

EdWeek, “California Study:  High Minority High Schools Offer Little Computer Science” May 8, 2015

La Opinion, “Reporte: Latinos son los menos educados en computación May 8, 2015

Take Part and Republished on Yahoo! News, “Kids of Color Are Already Behind on Landing These Future Jobs” May 11, 2015

Computer Science and the Next Generation Science Standards Framework

ACCESS, in partnership with CSLNet and Code.org are working together with expertise from Irene Lee to suggest more robust inclusion of computer science principles into the Next Generation Science Standards frameworks document.   For more information about the NGSS, please visit http://www.nextgenscience.org/california

Beyond Coding: Informational Briefing in Sacramento

In partnership with Code.org, CSLnet, Technet, and others, we are planning an informational briefing to be held at the State’s Capitol on Tuesday, August 25th to educate legislators, staffers, and education advocates about the value of computer science education equity. Please Join Us for a Policy Roundtable Event “Beyond Coding: Advancing K-12 Computer Science Education in California” Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm California State Capitol, Room 125, Sacramento. RSVP directly to  http://beyondcoding.eventbrite.com.

Download Event Flyer

Building a robust CS education teaching force

The rules and regulations about who can and can’t teach computer science education in California can be very confusing.  In an effort to simplify the issues and to identify our goals, ACCESS prepared this infographic.

Teaching Computer Science Meeting the Demand in CA
View the full infographic.


2015 California STEM Symposium
Please join us at the CDE STEM conference in Anaheim October 29-30 to learn more about computer science education equity. For more information, http://cdefoundation.org/stemsymposium/2015-stem-symposium/.

Hold the Date:
Computer Science Teachers Association annual conference
July 10-12, 2016 in San Diego



San Francisco Unified School Districts adopts computer science in grades K12

Read more about it at The Hechinger Report where ACCESS is quoted.


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

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2015 Spring Update Newsletter

ACCESS Spring Update 2015

Welcome to the Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools spring update about computer science education equity in California.  Please spread the word and invite your friends and colleagues to subscribe to our list by visiting access-ca.org to stay informed.

Legislative Update

ACCESS provides research and information to policymakers and their staff so they can craft legislation to help broaden participation in computing.  These are the computer science-related bills we’ve been tracking in addition to a related resolution:

  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. ACR 17 (Chang). Women and Girls in STEM Week.
    This measure designates April 5 to April 11, 2015 as Women and Girls in STEM Week, encourages 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.

CS Teacher Authorization

ACCESS submitted a proposal to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) to update the Computer Concepts and Applications Supplementary Authorization. The modifications were unanimously approved in concept by the CTC. The new regulations will likely be written this fall for further approval.

Deep Dives and Collaborations

Thanks to a generous grant from Google, ACCESS will continue its statewide work focusing on “deep dives” in three key areas: 1) Teacher Credentialing, 2) CS Standards and 3) Making CS Count. Additionally, ACCESS is participating in a statewide collaborative effort led by CSLNet.

Conference Presentations

California STEM Summit 2015

ACCESS and Code.org co-presented two conference presentations titled, “The X Factor: STEM + Computer Science = An Equity-Based District Partnership” at the CSLNet STEM summit in March.  Jane Margolis of Exploring Computer Science also delivered a keynote. Please visit the conference website for more information.

CCSC Southwest Region Conference
ACCESS presented a keynote address, “Democratizing Computer Science K12 Education in California: Ensuring equitable ACCESS to ALL students” at the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges South Western Region Conference at Harvey Mudd College in March, 2015.

NSFACCESS participated in the CE21 Conference of the National Science Foundation in Baltimore in January 2015 and hosted a dynamically scheduled break-out session to discuss statewide policy change for CS education expansion.

Newsletter Highlights

Legislative Update

CS Teacher Authorization


Conference Presentations

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions regarding computer science education equity throughout California, please contact Julie Flapan, Executive Director of ACCESS and Director, Computer Science Project at UCLA Center X.  She can be reached her at her new email address:  flapan@gseis.ucla.edu.

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

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