PED develops plan making computer science education a priority by 2026

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Public Education Department reports that it has created a plan that will make sure that students learn necessary computer skills. In a press release from the department, PED states that the New Mexico Computer Science Plan aims to expand and encourage student pathways into careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

The plan highlights computer skills as essential to STEM fields as well as other industries. PED explains that by 2026, computer science education will be a priority in K through 12 public schools to increase the computational thinking, skills, and literacy of students.

The plan outlines detailed policy, implementation, and development goals as well as a timeline to reach them. The following goals were highlighted:

  • By 2026, teachers will have a pathway to earn a computer science endorsement
  • By 2026, 50% of districts and charter schools will have their own K–12 computer science implementation plan
  • By 2023, every high school will o­ffer a secondary computer science course
  • By 2026, teachers will be offered ongoing professional learning to integrate computer science in K-8 classes

PED reports that it will create a comprehensive needs assessment to stakeholder groups and will then collect and analyze the data. The department says it will then reassess and update the plan yearly to keep stakeholders informed of progress toward the goals.

According to PED in the fall of 2019 a computer science taskforce met to identify to outline the strategic plan. The taskforce included individuals from across New Mexico including educators, students, legislators, industry partners, and professional organizations.

This group then submitted recommendations to PED in early 2021 which resulted in the completion of the strategic plan.

Janelle B. Smith

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