Last evening, I received an email from the Computer Science Teacher’s Association listserv with a call for action. The contents of the email are listed below.
I urge all Illinois educators to take a moment, review, and consider support this initiative. The reason that I feel so strongly about this is that for many years, I taught computer science courses in a high school. Due to the way the school decided to assign these credits towards graduation requirements, any computer science elective, including AP Computer Science was a free elective, not counting towards any departmental credit for either Illinois requirements or towards college admissions. Since this was a free elective and did not count towards a mathematics or art credit, many students were unwilling to tackle the challenge of this course.
Computer science, including AP Computer Science teaches students logical and sequential thinking, essential skills for students to have in their tool kits. I am not saying that this should replace the skills learned in math classess, the fine or performing arts, or in the humanities. I feel that it is essential to learn how to analyze and how to create a compelling narrative using text, images, motion pictures and sounds. What I feel is that students should have the opportunity to explore skills learned in computer science on the same level as these other skills.
Please support these efforts as I have done.
On March 20th, representatives from Computing in the Core (CinC) will be meeting with legislators to discuss Illinois House Bill 3695. This bill allows an AP Computer Science course to count as one of three math courses required for high school graduation. Please note that this change does not mandate that school districts offer AP computer science or otherwise change their practice; it simply provides high schools and students the opportunity to count CS as a core class.
You can show support of this Bill by signing an electronic witness slip. Signatures on the Illinois House of Representatives witness slip will be provided to the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee as part of the case to make CS count along with key testimony from members of CinC.
Help make this a reality and show your support by filling out the witness slip. It takes less than 3 minutes to complete. bit.ly/1gxxsmI
Please note, that since most of you will not be able to attend, just select Written Statement Filed under IV Testimony. This signifies your support of the change.
If you are unfamiliar with HB3695, you can find out more at: bit.ly/1cZIGVP.
For questions about the Computer Science Teachers Association, HB 3695, or to become a member of CSTA’s Computer Science Advocacy Leadership Team (CSALT) please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Development
Computer Science Teachers Association