More Computer Science Classes are Needed, Educators Say
The Westmoreland Central School District is on the verge of introducing Computer Science and coding program that will be in each level. The district initially started by adding a coding program in kindergarten and second-grade curriculum.
According to Superintendent Rocco Migliori, each year, the district made sure to include two more grades until this year when the high school started offering the program with a dual credit class through Mohawk Valley Community College. The high school is intended to provide more courses in the future.
However, the journey has not always been rosy. They encountered challenges such as training of staff, curriculum development, certification, finances, and equipment.
“Some of this is about STEAM programs. Some are about creating relevance to mathematics. Some were to meet the demands of business partners who provided us with these ideas and insight. Some has been in response to kids’ interests,” Migliori said in an email.
Unfortunately, many districts face obstacles when rolling out computer science sources. Currently, only 45 percent of all high schools teach the subject according to a 2019 State of Computer Science Education report.
The report is a joint effort by Code.org, Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance, and Computer Science Teachers Association.
In New York, for example, only 44 percent of high schools offered at least one computer science courses during the 2017-2018 academic year. However, educators say that more is to be done.
“We live in a technological society, and any advantage we can give to our students is important, including exposure to the computer sciences as a viable career path,” said Steven Falchi, administrative director of curriculum and instruction K-12 in the Utica City School District.