This article is published in the February 2016 issue.

Obama Announces Historic Science “Computer Science for All” Initiative

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 11, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

On January 30, President Obama announced a new Computer Science Education initiative that would allow states to take the lead in increasing access to CS in K-12 classrooms.  We highlighted the exciting initiative on the CRA Policy Blog and the CCC Blog.

The initiative, which will be included in the President’s FY 2017 Budget Request to Congress on February 9th, will designate $4 billion for states available over 3 years, and $100 million directly for districts, to increase access to K-12 computer science education “by training teachers, expanding access to high-quality instructional materials, and building effective regional partnerships.” He will also direct NSF to spend more than $120 million over the next five years to support and train CS teachers. The White House released a fact sheet describing the new initiative, called “Computer Science for All.”

The policy blog post underscores how unprecedented this is for computing:

That the President would choose to highlight this in the run-up to the release of his final budget request to Congress is pretty huge news — I’m not sure CS has ever gotten quite this much Presidential visibility. But it’s a clear sign of the growing understanding in Washington of the importance of computing education.

The CCC post shares some of their current efforts related to CS education:

As we noted a few weeks ago with the release of our Computing Education Whitepaper, President Obama said in his final State of the Union Address, that “helping students learn to write computer code” was among his goals for the year ahead.

A growing number of cities and districts — such as New York CityChicago, and San Francisco, and states, like Arkansas and Washington — have taken their own initiative and put plans in place to offer computer science courses to all students in K-12 public schools.

The “CS for All” initiative has received a great amount of support from the community. CRA will continue to cover the initiative and keep you informed with the latest.

“In the new economy, computer science isn’t an optional skill — it’s a basic skill, right along with the three ‘Rs.’” — President Obama, Jan. 30, 2016.



Obama Announces Historic Science “Computer Science for All” Initiative