The House Education Committee took a step toward improving computer science education in Washington schools today, passing out HB 1813. It does a few things:
- Creates a Computer Science and Education Grant program.
- Requires development of computer sciences learning standards.
- Directs creation of a computer science endorsement for teachers.
Poll results released this morning by Washington STEM indicate that many Washington voters are likely to be on board with moves to improve computer science and, more specifically, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Key findings from that poll:
- 94 percent of Washington voters believe every child should have access to a high quality STEM education in the state’s K-12 public schools, but just 45 percent believe schools are delivering.
- 86 percent agree that STEM education is needed to ensure students are given the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.
- 81 percent agree increased focus on STEM education in Washington will improve the state’s economy.
- 86 percent of voters support increasing the number of college students graduating with a degree in a STEM field.
And, as our Opportunity Washington roadmap points out:
The payoff [on STEM education] is considerable… a one percent increase in the number of high school graduates interested in pursuing a computer science or engineering degree would increase the number of qualified employees by 600 a year. (Source: The Boston Consulting Group)