Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills) has introduced his first two bills of 2014, both aimed at improving and expanding computer science education in California, a subject matter that students need in today’s computing intensive world.
The two measures, AB 1539 and AB 1540, together will create more opportunities for students in grades 7-12 to have better access to courses that will teach them such concepts as coding, preparing them for careers in the technology sector that is so crucial to the state’s economy.
“California has long been a world leader in technological development, yet we are behind in preparing our students to enter the technology sector workforce,” stated Assemblyman Hagman. “These two bills will not only open up more educational opportunities in a field that is growing rapidly every day, they will also help create a more qualified workforce for California’s technology sector, keeping jobs here at home instead of losing them overseas,” Hagman continued.
The first measure, AB 1539, would require the State Board of Education to adopt content standards for teaching computer science in at least grades 7-12, using input from teachers, school officials, and private sector experts. While computer science is currently taught in some schools throughout the state, there are no state standards, frameworks, or suggested instructional materials for teaching the subject. Adopting content standards would enable the Department of Education to develop a curriculum framework and decide on instructional materials, establishing a more universal way of teaching computer science and allowing for the subject to be taught at more schools.
The second measure, AB 1540, would allow more high school students, who have received approval, to concurrently enroll in computer science courses at their local community college if there are no such classes available at their own school. Under this measure, community colleges and school districts would be permitted to develop a concurrent enrollment agreement whereby such a program could be implemented in a way that works best for each institution and the students they serve.
Assemblyman Hagman trusts that these two measures will provide the foundation for more advances in computer science education, such as allowing the subject to satisfy high school graduation requirements and seeing the subject have its own teaching credential.
For more information on Assemblyman Hagman please visit: www.asm.ca.gov/55