Over the last nine years, Whiteboard Advisors has been proudly working with Code.org to ensure that every student, particularly girls and students from low income communities, have the chance to learn computer science skills in K-12 schools. This past week, team W/A has been hard at work. You may have seen coverage in outlets like Bloomberg, CNBC, Axios, Working Nation, and Education Week around new momentum for CS education in the U.S.
Last week, over 500 CEOs and nonprofit leaders from across nearly every industry (far beyond big tech) issued a bipartisan letter asking state leaders to ensure every student has the opportunity to learn computer science in school. It’s a call to action that has brought together competitors across industries such as retail, travel, tech, and finance, as well as the U.S. Chamber and our country’s teachers unions. Later in the week, at the National Governors Association’s summer convening of governors, 50 governors from 45 states and U.S. territories signed a compact to expand access to CS in their states and territories, as a culmination of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s yearlong Chairman’s Initiative.
Over the last decade, all 50 states have taken action to expand access to computer science – whether that’s funding professional learning to increase the number of CS educators, allowing CS to count toward a core graduation requirement, or even requiring all schools to offer the course. But, there is still much work to be done: today, only 5% of high school students study computer science, at a moment when the United States has over 700,000 open computing jobs.