Having a teacher in class teaching computer science rather than online courses is crucial in building students’ interest in the course, according to Gov. Asa Hutchinson. He said this during an event Monday, June 10 that celebrated Arkansas leadership in CS.
The event pooled educators from 30 states plus governors of South Carolina and Lowa. During his 2014 race, he vowed to introduce computer science in every school. His inspiration came from a project by her granddaughter, who made an app to run his campaign.
The proposal saw the light of day during his 2015 session. The law requires schools to offer CS either as a math or science credit. To facilitate this, the state provides $5 million every two years. It also includes cash prizes, pays training teachers, and grants for equipment, among other benefits.
Since the passing of the law students taking the course rose from 1,100 to 8,000 while the number of teachers teaching the discipline rose from 20 to 370. 63% of Arkansas schools have a student taking the course compared to 35% of state schools offering it.
This embracing of the course made Arkansas become a leader in student coding movement. And how else to oversee this success than Anthony Owen. He is the state director of computer science, and he was in attendance.
Despite the success, 37% of schools in Arkansas are yet to offer the course since no student is interested. Hutchinson said that it is due to their unbelief that they can’t make it in computer science that keeps them from pursuing the discipline.