But to seize this opportunity, they write that Governor Chris Christie must follow the Legislature's lead and act now.
Currently, for high school students across New Jersey, computer science only counts as an elective credit, giving them less incentive to take computer science courses, and giving schools less incentive to offer them.
- SB 2161/AB 2597 – Would allow school districts to count qualifying computer science courses toward mathematics graduation requirements.
- SB 2032/AB 3440 – Would require the New Jersey Department of Education to review Core Curriculum Content Standards to ensure that they incorporate modern computer science approaches.
Without Christie’s signature by January 19, the legislation will be vetoed and won’t become state law for at least another year. To have these bills so close to becoming law and not cross the finish line would be a great disservice to the students of New Jersey.
We commend the Legislature, in particular the Education Committee Chairs Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) and Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex), for its efforts to give young people in New Jersey the education they need to be successful when they leave high school. These two bills will go a long way toward providing all of New Jersey’s students access to the best opportunities out there, no matter what career path they pursue.
Christie must not let the opportunity languish for another year or more. Now is the time to finish the job and send a message to New Jersey students and the technology sector.
John Hajdu is president of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSNJ) of Central New Jersey. CSNJ believes that all students should take computer science classes to help develop logical thinking, problem solving and computational thinking skills necessary for the jobs of tomorrow.
Matt Mincieli is the Northeast region executive director for TechNet, a national advocacy organization for the technology and innovation sector.
Cameron Wilson is the vice president of government affairs for Code.org, a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color.
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