Governor Murphy announced today that three universities will receive grants from the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) to create computer science learning hubs throughout the state. The three CS Hubs will be at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Kean University and Rutgers University (New Brunswick). The universities will provide high-quality professional learning for educators and resources for school districts to increase computer science opportunities for students. The grants—which are funded through the Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations Act—will also help the three universities build partnerships with stakeholders to promote the growth of computer science education. Please read the full announcement for additional information.
Governor Murphy announced an $800,000 “Expanding Access to Computer Science: Professional Learning” grant. The grant will fund three Computer Science Hubs at Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) to provide professional development to teachers, administrators, and others who are instrumental in computer science education in the K-12 school setting. The programs will focus on schools with students who have traditionally had limited access to high-quality computer science instruction. The awards will be announced in March. The CS Hubs might be operational by the summer 2021.The notice of the grant is on the Department’s Grant Opportunities webpage.
Read the full announcement here.
Code.org, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance released the 2020 State of Computer Science Education: Illuminating Disparities. The report describes the policy trends and momentum over the past 12 months and includes an in-depth view of each state’s policy and implementation, as well as data on disparities in access to and participation in computer science.
According to the report, NJ has made great progress but needs to do more in order to ensure access to equitable high-quality CS education for all NJ students:
- New Jersey has adopted six of the nine policies identified by the Code.org Coalition as necessary for equitable K-12 CS education. The steps required to realize three of the six policies adopted: CS teacher certification, establishing preservice programs at NJ colleges and universities, and establishing a dedicated CS Specialist position at the NJDOE have been adopted but their implementation has been delayed due to COVID.
- 67% of NJ high schools teach a CS course where only 47% of high schools teach CS across the United States. A law passed in NJ in 2018 requires that all NJ high schools offer a CS course.
- NJ Hispanic/LatinX students are 1.6 times less likely than their white and Asian peers to attend a school that offers AP CS and 2.3 times less likely to take an AP CS exam when they attend a school that offers it.
- NJ Black students are 1.6 times less likely than their white and Asian peers to attend a school that offers AP CS, and 4 times less likely to take an AP CS exam whey they attend a school that offers it.
The New Jersey State Board approves the 2020 revisions to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in seven subject areas at its June 3, 2020 meeting. The revisions encompass the seven academic standards:
- Social Studies
- Visual and Performing Arts
- Comprehensive Health and Physical Education
- World Languages
- Computer Science and Design Thinking
- Career Readiness, Life Literacies, and Key Skills.
The new Computer Science and Design Thinking standards include a full Computer Science standard aligned to the Computer Science Framework and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) standards.
View the NJEA article on the standards.
On 11/4/2019, Governor Murphy announced the New Jersey Computer Science State plan. The state plan was developed by the New Jersey Department of Education with input from the NJ Computer Science Advisory Board. It identifies strategic goals and milestones aimed at supporting and sustaining the implementation of coherent, robust, standards-based K to 12 Computer Science programs in the state.
Read the announcement here.