In Partnership with The 74

LA Unified plans to offer computer science to all K-12 students

Craig Clough | October 7, 2014



computer-scienceL.A. Unified officials announced today a plan to offer computer science curriculum to all students in kindergarten through 12th grade as part of a partnership with Seattle-based nonprofit Code.org.

The program will offer the instruction to all students and will expand upon the district’s earlier collaboration with UCLA to give more students access to computer science education, according to a press release from LA Unified.

“It is absolutely critical that we equip students with an education that prepares them for life,” LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy said in a statement. “Teaching students how to code enhances their relevant skills, no matter what academic or career path they eventually choose. Coding is, by any measure in a digital-age economy, an essential skill, and is something that all students should have the opportunity to learn.”

Under the partnership, the district said Code.org will train teachers and provide curriculum, marketing material and workshops at no cost to the district. Code.org is a group dedicated to bringing computer science to all K-12 public schools in the United States and to increasing participation by women and minorities.

The program will be rolled out over the next three years and will include offering computer science to grades K-5, establishing a program for middle school students that combines computer science with mathematics and science, and expanding the computer science classes offered at high schools.

LA Unified’s statement about the program pointed to a number of statistics that highlight the benefit of K-12 computer science programs. According to the College Board, students who take high school computer science are four times more likely to select computer science as their college major, and Google surveyed its U.S. employees and found that 98 percent of them were exposed to computer science before enrolling in college.

“This is exactly the kind of program we should be pursuing to ensure that our students have skills to succeed in college or the workplace,” said LAUSD board member Tamar Galatzan, whose resolution to expand access to computer science was unanimously approved by the board in March.

Click here to see a CBS This Morning story featuring of Code.org.

 

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