The National Governors Association (NGA) Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) have released the first official public draft of the K-12 standards as part of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a process being led by governors and chief state school officers in 51 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. These draft standards, developed together with teachers, school administrators and experts, seek to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare U.S. children for college and the workforce. Interestingly, this year "computer science" is included as a senior-level high school course for students who meet the "readiness level" by grade 11 within the latest draft of the Common Core Standards for Mathematics.
According to John White, CEO of the Association for Computing Machinery,"Given the critical role of computing for our global information society in preparing students with the knowledge and skills they need for the 21st century, this inclusion in the draft Common Core Standards is a huge boost for the field and its future."
"As the leading organization advancing computing as a science and profession, ACM is acutely aware of the need to expose students -- particularly in grades K-12 -- to robust computer science education." said White, "But there are many challenges facing computer science education, and one of the biggest has been finding a place for computer science within the high school curriculum. We are heartened by the inclusion of computer science in this draft and encourage the Council of Chief State School Officers, National Governors Association, and the advisory groups working on these standards to retain that reference in the final version, as well as add a description of what rigorous senior year computer science encompasses. This description is outlined in the ACM-Computer Science Teachers Association A Model Curriculum for K-12 Computer Science."
The Draft K-12 Common Core State Standards are currently available for comment, and the NGA and CCSSO encourage those interested in the standards to provide further feedback by Friday, April 2, 2010, at ">www.corestandards.org.
These goal of the standards are to define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards should be:
- Aligned with college and work expectations;
- Clear, understandable and consistent;
- Inclusive of rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
- Built upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
- Informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
- Evidence- and research-based.
The standards are expected to be finalized in early Spring.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.
Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation's governors and one of Washington, D.C.'s most respected public policy organizations. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices.