On Friday the House passed HR 5, the Student Success Act, by a vote of 221-207.  The bill would rewrite many of the provisions of the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and include provisions helpful to computer science education and educators. These provisions were put in place because of an amendment filed by Representative Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Representative Jared Polis (D-CO).

One new program under the bill would be called, “Teacher Preparation and Effectiveness” and would give grants to states, who could then make sub-grants to local education agencies (LEAs) to invest in teachers.

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The Microsoft Research Faculty Summit kicked off this morning. The Faculty Summit is an annual gathering of more than 400 academic researchers from 200 institutions and 29 countries who will join Microsoft Research to assess and explore today’s computing opportunities. Tony Hey, Vice President of Research Connections at Microsoft, opened up the summit with a few words about the future of computing. “The Summit is about the future of computing, and the future is about people,” he told the audience. 

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Computer science education (and the computing community as a whole) achieved an important milestone yesterday with the introduction of the Computer Science Education Act (CSEA) in the House. CSEA would add computer science to the core academic subjects taught in K – 12 and specify that federal funding can be spent on computer science education. The Computing in the Core (CinC) coalition, of which CRA is a member, has been working on this legislation for several years.

The lead co-sponsors for CSEA are Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO). Nine other members from both parties also sponsored the bill at the time of its introduction.

While the bipartisan introduction was in and of itself an important accomplishment, it is just the first step. The CinC coalition is requesting support for the legislation in the form of emails to personal offices. All the details are available here along with sample text for contacting your Representative.