“The Computer Science Teachers Association of New Jersey (CSTANJ) thanks Governor Murphy for his support of the Computer Science for All initiative and appreciated the opportunity to have been represented on the NJ Computer Science Advisory Board,” said Daryl Detrick, Warren Hills Regional High School Computer Science Teacher and CSTANJ Advocacy Chair. “We also want to thank the Advisory Board members and New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) for all their hard work developing the New Jersey Computer Science Action Plan. We believe that all students should have the opportunity to study computer science because it helps teach computational thinking skills that are valuable in nearly all career fields. This plan and funding are huge steps toward helping us reach those goals. We look forward to working with the Governor’s office and NJDOE to implement this plan and open doors of opportunity for our students.”
“Following up on last year’s funding and announcement of joining the Governor’s Partnership for K-12 Computer Science, Governor Murphy continues to advance his commitment to computer science education,” said Pat Yongpradit, Chief Academic Officer of Code.org. “Today’s release of a comprehensive state plan and strategic funding initiative goes to show that New Jersey is serious about every student having the opportunity to learn computer science.”
“The New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning (NJCTL) fully supports Governor Murphy’s commitment to bringing CS education to all students,” said Bob Goodman, NJCTL’s Executive Director. “The CS for All initiative encouraged NJCTL to develop a comprehensive AP CS A program, including curriculum materials as well as, online training, and coaching for teachers. We eagerly await the expansion of CS for All, bringing the benefits of CS education to more students and teachers, particularly those not traditionally represented in CS.”
According to the Computer Science for All State Plan, more than 500,000 computing jobs remain unfilled in the United States – with more than 15,000 in the Garden State alone. Although the jobs offer an average salary of $107,260 in New Jersey, only 1,642 computer science majors graduated from the state’s universities in 2017.
The state plan and grant funding are part of the Governor’s Computer Science for All initiative, designed to broaden rigorous computer science courses offered to students.
The Computer Science for All State Plan calls for the implementation of five key goals:
- Adopt Standards: Develop rigorous computer science standards in all grades that provide a framework for equitable access to a coherent, robust computer science program for all students in K-12.
- Implement Professional Learning: Develop and deliver flexible, accessible, and sustainable professional learning for educators and educator preparation providers.
- Strengthen the Teacher Pipeline: Establish initial licensure and endorsement pathways to increase the number of educators teaching computer science.
- Build Capacity, Partnerships, and Awareness: Engage with families, educators, higher education, school boards and other community stakeholders to leverage partnerships and promote the state plan.
- Establish a Data-Driven Decision-Making Approach: Establish metrics for each of the goals to evaluate progress and remaining gaps; ensure the data collected can serve as a basis for establishing the funding in each of the next two fiscal cycles.
In addition, to help implement the plan, Governor Murphy announced three “Expanding Access to Computer Science” grant opportunities for $2 million in computer science funding for Fiscal Year 2020. The grants include:
Professional Learning Computer Science Grants:
To create a network of computer-science hubs that can provide educators with high-quality computer science training, three institutions of higher education in each region of the state will receive up to $265,000 each to partner with school districts that have at least one Title I school. Each site will offer flexible programs including in-person, digital, or blended professional learning opportunities.
Developing Curricula to Support CTE Pathways:
To support information technology in schools offering career and technical education (CTE) programs, one institution of higher education will receive up to $205,000 to create two model curricula programs of study: one in programming and another in networking/cybersecurity to assist secondary school districts and postsecondary CTE programs in the implementation of the Information Technology Career Cluster.
High School Courses:
To provide opportunities for a larger and more diverse pool of students to participate in advanced computer science courses, 15 or more awards up to $66,500 each will be awarded to comprehensive high schools. The funds will help schools ensure that students and teachers are prepared for Advanced Placement computer science courses, programs that lead to an industry-valued credential in computer science, or classes that result in credit in computer science through an agreement with a college, university, or other postsecondary institution. This is an expansion of a grant that was created last year.
The three Expanding Access to Computer Science grants are expected to be awarded by the spring of 2020.