Nationwide, just half of all high schools offer computer science courses. That’s not the case here in Arkansas.
Arkansas is recognized nationally as a leading state in the computer science education movement.
When the General Assembly passed Act 187 in 2015, we became the first state to require every public high school and public charter school to offer at least one computer science course.
The 93rd General Assembly expanded efforts to provide computer science education when it passed the Computer Science Education Advancement Act of 2021. This act requires that beginning with the 9th grade class of 2022-2023, every student will be required to earn one credit in a high school Computer Science or Computing Course for graduation. It also requires every public high school must employ at least one high school computer science certified teacher.
Computer Science Education Week is December 5-11. This week is an annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science and to celebrate the contributions of students and teachers in the field.
According to Code.org, computing occupations are the number one source of new wages in America.
However, computer science education does more than give our students an advantage in the tech industry. It also teaches them to think differently about problems they are trying to solve in any context. In fact, numerous studies show that studying computer science helps students outperform in school and college.
Computer science education teaches students how to create new technologies instead of just being consumers of technology.
In celebration of Computer Science Education Week, the Arkansas Department of Education Office of Computer Science announce the submission window for the Computer Science Gold Medal School Program. The program is designed to recognize Arkansas high schools for outstanding work in supporting and implementing the Arkansas Computer Science and Computing Initiative. Schools are ranked based on information submitted to and reviewed by the ADE Office of Computer Science.
The submission portal is now open and will close at 11:45 p.m. on January 31, 2023.
You can find more information about that program and other incentives for students and teachers at cs.arkansas.gov.