Board votes to allow computer science to count as core math, science credit
NetWork Kansas' Nick Poels reacts to Kansas State Board of Education decision
Computer science can now be counted as a core math or science credit toward high school graduation. The Kansas State Board of Education voted to approve the recommendation Tuesday, June 8, during its monthly meeting in Topeka.
Before the decision, Kansas was one of only two states that counted computer science courses as an elective, but not as a core math, science or other core discipline credit. Now after the State Board’s vote, local school boards can substitute one unit of computer science for either one unit of science or math as long as the student meets the math and science concepts required in regulations and the school district allows it.
Kansas graduation requirements include a minimum of 21 units of credit, including four English language arts units; three history, government and social studies units; three math units; three science units; one physical education unit; one unit of fine arts; and six units of elective courses.
The State Board in February 2020 received five recommendations brought forth from the Computer Science Education Implementation Task Force. One of those recommendations included allowing computer science to be counted as a core math or science credit.
A group of people on the task force examined other states’ policies for examples and lessons and met with math and science consultants for input and guidance.
State Board of Education members learned more about the recommendation at the May board meeting and were scheduled to act on it during the June meeting.
The approval of the recommendation doesn’t change the minimum 21 credits required for graduation, and it doesn’t make computer science a required course for graduation.
The approval does, however, put an emphasis on the importance of computer science and increases the flexibility for students, counselors and administrators to count computer science as a core credit.
“This policy change was an important step towards arming our students with critical skills for their future career paths,” said Nick Poels, Director of Remote Work and Entrepreneurship at NetWork Kansas, and the project lead for Ignister – a new initiative designed to enhance computer science opportunity across the state.
“We appreciate the Kansas Board of Education’s approval, in synergy with their vision to lead the world in the success of each student," Poels said, "However, there is still a lot of work to be done to support our schools, our teachers and our students. Over the course of the past year, we have seen incredible partnerships form between invested resources in both the public and private sector; all working towards the common goal of supporting and sustaining tech growth in Kansas. Developing a pipeline of tech talent, from foundational education to workforce readiness, is a win for the state on many levels."
For more information about Ignister, contact Nick Poels, Director of Remote Work & Entrepreneurship, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about NetWork Kansas or the E-Community Partnership, visit www.networkkansas.com.
The original news release was featured on the Kansas State Department of Education's website and has been reprinted with permission.