Code.org announced in January a partnership with A+ College Ready and the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) to build upon, and invest in Alabama’s current efforts to expand computer science courses in K-12 classrooms across the state. This effort will double the number of Alabama teachers qualified and trained to teach AP Computer Science Principles in Alabama’s public high schools.
More than two-thirds of all new jobs in STEM will be computing occupations by 2022, according to Code.org, a national organization focused on increasing access to computer science education. A+ College Ready, a division of A+ Education Partnership, and Code.org will work with the ALSDE to recruit teachers and increase access to computer science courses. Code.org will provide curriculum and professional development services for teachers, as well as funding the program together with A+ College Ready and ALSDE.
“Code.org is excited to partner with A+ College Ready and the state of Alabama. This collaborative is one of our first regional partnerships leading the nation in this movement,” said Jake Baskin, Director of District Management at Code.org. “This partnership can help change the lives of Alabama students by preparing them to think critically about real world problems and put them on a pathway toward the highest demand jobs in the U.S. economy.”
To celebrate this achievement, Code.org, A+ College Ready, and the Alabama State Department of Education held a news conference January 7th announcing the partnership.
Below are links to some of the coverage:
Code.org, A+ College Ready and Alabama Department of Education aim to elevate computer science graduates (Marie Leech, Alabama News Network)
Schools Placing Higher Emphasis on Computer Science (Shelby County Reporter)
The brief news conference was held during a Code.org-sponsored computer science teacher training session, and members of the media and community had the chance to talk with teachers and students directly involved in this important initiative.
“Support from Code.org will build upon the groundwork we’ve laid and take Alabama to the next level -- bringing computer science courses to about 100 Alabama high schools by 2018,” said Mary Boehm, president of A+ College Ready. “Our incredible partnerships with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Dr. Jeff Gray of the University of Alabama helped get the first 50 public school teachers well prepared, confident, and excited about leading more students into this field of study. The Code.org partnership will train and support 50 additional teachers.”
A+ College Ready worked with the University of Alabama (UA) and a select group of Alabama teachers to help pilot the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles course. The initial goal is to have over 2500 Alabama students enrolled in this course over the next two years.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley recently signed a proclamation recognizing December 7 – 13, 2015, as “Computer Science Education Week.” This coincided with the international “Hour of Code” campaign organized by Code.org. (Click here for more on this. Link to A+CR blog post.)
The Governor’s proclamation read in part; “Computer Science Education Week highlights the crucial role that computer science plays in transforming our society and how computer science enables innovation and creates economic opportunities.” Alabama’s recognition of this vital field is a strong step forward for public education in the state, said Dr. Philip Cleveland of the ALSDE. “The ultimate goal is to expand computer science education into all of our schools, and get more teachers and students excited about where computer science can take them and our state.”
Currently, A+ College Ready is recruiting teachers to take part in the Code.org initiative. Teacher training will begin this summer, and about 15 slots are still available for teachers and schools interested in offering this course. Interested Alabama teachers should contact Melissa Crook at A+ College Ready; firstname.lastname@example.org
A+ College Ready Contact:
Mary Boehm, 205-541-2833 or email@example.com
Roxanne Emadi, 206-612-0442 or firstname.lastname@example.org