State Board of Education adopts new computer science, computing academic standards, courses | News

The State Board of Education adopted the 2020 revised Arkansas Computer Science and Computing Standards and high school courses at its meeting today. These new standards, which have served as a national example of excellence in Computer Science education, include new updates and learning components that align with industry-standard Computer Science best practices.

“I am excited by the adoption of the new Computer Science and Computing Standards,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “When we started this initiative in 2015, I knew that engaging our students through top quality K-12 education in these concepts would be critical to the state’s success. The skills these newly-adopted standards develop when taught at the K-8 level and the pathways the courses establish at the high school level will ensure that Arkansas students will continue to prepare for the fastest-growing and most-lucrative career fields.”

The new standards and courses include the following:

  • Full revision and update of the Computer Science Practices;
  • Full revision and update of the K-8 (grade specific) Computer Science Standards;
  • Full revision and update of the Coding Block for Grades 7 and 8;
  • Full revision, update, and sequencing into program-specific, three-year pathways of the following high school course programs of study: Cybersecurity, Game Development and Design, Mobile Application Development, Networking, Programming, and Robotics;
  • Creation and sequencing into program-specific, three-year pathways of the following high school course programs of study: Computer Engineering and Data Science; and
  • Update of the following Computer Science and Computing options: Independent Study and Internship.

The standards and courses adopted were the result of more than 3,000 hours of work conducted by a standards committee comprised of 48 educators, industry representatives, and state agency employees. In addition, more than 1,500 hours of additional work on the standards was conducted by the state’s #ARKidsCanCode / #CSforAR Team, consisting of nine statewide Computer Science specialists and additional personnel from the ADE Office of Computer Science.

“I want to thank the State Board of Education for their consideration and adoption of these standards today,” State Director of Computer Science Anthony Owen said. “These standards are the result of thousands of hours of online collaboration by Arkansas educators, industry leaders, and the #ARKidsCanCode / #CSforAR Team, which I have been honored to build and lead these past five years. I am confident that they will serve not only to guide high-quality instruction across Arkansas, but will stand again as a model that other states will emulate.”

Janelle B. Smith

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