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Recap: Summit on Statewide K-12 Curriculum for Computer Science

by Adalberto Toledo, News-Gazette / Sep 25, 2019

Raya Hegeman-Davis, part of the CS Summit Planning Committee

Raya Hegeman-Davis, school-university research coordinator in the College of Education and I-STECS (Illinois Secondary Teacher Education and Computer Science) initiative team member, knew there was general consensus from educators and constituents, statewide, about the critical need for improvement in the area of computer science education for Illinois K-12 students. 

Despite the state’s efforts to advance computer science education, there are still many unanswered questions about just what a K-12 curriculum would look like.

That’s why more than 200 high school computer science teachers, tech leaders and field advocates gathered last Friday at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) on the University of Illinois campus for the first-ever statewide K-12 Computer Science Education Summit.

The summit is another step in the state’s recent push to teach students basic computer science applications as it attempts to keep well-paying jobs in the growing tech sector in the state. 

Launched in December 2014, Computer Science for All at Chicago Public Schools — a program that would require credits in computer science for all high school graduates — was the first step in creating what UI President Tim Killeen called a “bedrock of knowledge” that the state is currently lacking.

“These days, every company has to be a tech company,” Killeen said. “What we need today is motivated computer science teachers that can spark interest in our young students so they hit the ground running. They need to if Illinois is to thrive in the future.”

Read the full story from the News-Gazette...