STEM Education

10 Recommendations for Computer Science Education

10 Recomendations for Computer Science Education, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance have released their annual "2023 State of Computer Science Education" report. The report's 10 recommendations this year includes as its last: Require all high schools to make computer science (CS) a graduation requirement.

The report also looks at national conversations about AI and the profound impact it has had in all sectors of society, especially education.

The executive summary notes: "For education, 2023 will go down as the year of generative artificial intelligence (AI).... The accessibility of generative AI tools … has begun to have a transformative impact on education globally. While workers in other sectors may not feel that ChatGPT will have a major impact on their work, 44% of teachers believe that ChatGPT will have a major impact on their jobs. We cannot prepare students for a future with AI without teaching them the foundations of computer science."

"AI is on the mind of every educator across the world asking: How will it change education and the workforce?" said Cameron Wilson, president of "Exposing students to computer science and AI education can answer these questions. We've made remarkable progress in 2023, but without graduation requirements for computer science, students from diverse backgrounds are going to miss out on this fundamental knowledge."

Sections of the report also include a CS education summary, trends and progress, gaps in small schools, access and participation, and state summaries.

The report's key findings are:

  • 2023 has shown the largest growth in percentage of high schools offering foundational CS since 2018: while 57.5% of U.S. public high schools offer it, compared to 53% last year, access disparities still exist.

  • Of 35 states, 5.8% of high school students are enrolled in CS.

  • Eight states have made it a graduation requirement: Arkansas, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Tennessee. In June, the Advocacy Coalition officially adopted this as the report's 10th policy recommendation.

  • Over $120 million was allocated for CS in state budgets as of this report, the most ever allocated in one year.

  • States that have adopted at least seven policy recommendations have 73% of their high schools offering CS, compared with 50% in states that adopted fewer than seven policies.

The report's 10 policy recommendations are:

  1. Create a statewide plan for K–12 CS.

  2. Define CS and establish K–12 standards.

  3. Allocate funding for teacher CS professional development.

  4. Establish CS certification pathways for elementary and secondary teachers.

  5. Establish programs in CS at higher education institutions for preservice teachers.

  6. Create state agency CS positions.

  7. Require all schools to offer CS.

  8. Let CS count toward graduation requirements.

  9. Allow CS to satisfy admission requirements at higher education institutions.

  10. Make CS a high school graduation requirement.

Additionally, the report recommends strategies promoting CS and AI, particularly focusing on closing access gaps in equity and diversity. A section is also included on what CS courses look like at the elementary, middle, and secondary school levels and beyond.

To download the report and relevant data, visit the Advocacy Coalition page.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.