“Requires State Board of Education to develop rigorous computer science curriculum guidelines and school districts to incorporate those guidelines in grades 6 through 12”

NJEA supports S-2032 (Codey).  This legislation would require the State Board of Education to develop rigorous guidelines in computer science curriculum at the middle and high school levels that shall be incorporated within existing technology and science core curriculum content standards where appropriate.

We recognize that our students need access to quality computer science courses that will build a strong foundation of the skills they will need to compete in the workforce.  The prediction from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, that by the year 2020 there will be 4.2 million jobs in computing and information technology in the United States, is one that our association takes very seriously.

This legislation proposes to provide students in grades 6 through 12 with a deeper knowledge of the fundamentals of computer science education.  New Jersey is currently undergoing many changes in curriculum and instruction that may provide an opportunity for the inclusion of computer science principles. For example, the Department of Education is preparing to introduce the core curriculum content standards for the Next Generation of Science Standards, as well as revisions to Technology Standards.  Incorporating requirements for computer science into these standards will benefit students and also address staffing concerns NJEA raised in order for this curriculum to be achievable and successful.  For example:

  • New Jersey does not offer a computer science teacher certification.
  • Currently, Math, Education Technology, or Business/Library Media Center teachers provide the instruction for many of these courses.  While they may have some background with computer coding, many are not specifically trained in the discipline of computer science.
    • Incorporating computer science guidelines into these subject areas will expose students to computer science fundamentals while also giving school districts time to phase in more intense computer science courses.

Computer science and computational thinking are critical skills our students will need as they prepare to enter the workforce and that is why NJEA urges you to vote YES on S-2032.