Special Report – The State of Computer Science Education

Computer Science Education Week, an activity of Computing in the Core (CinC), a non-partisan advocacy coalition, joins together associations, corporations, scientific societies, and other non-profits to advocate for stronger computer science education programs throughout the country.

Partners include ACM, Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) , National Science Foundation (NSF), National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), WGBH, Computing Research Association (CRA), Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology (ABI), and Microsoft, Google, SAS, Intel and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

These organizations recognize the important role they must play to ensure that K-12 and higher education are preparing students for the demands of the 21st century workforce. Each organization is evangelizing in its respective communities, creating content for use in classrooms, organizing student contests, and sponsoring conferences for educators.

Other companies are invited to join in by signing a pledge at www.csedweek.org.

Preparing future workers

Despite encouraging trends in the higher education enrollment and graduation rates in computer science, a continuing supply of students who qualify for admission to college and university computer science programs remains in jeopardy. A joint effort between the business and education communities to strengthen the computer science education pipeline from K-12 to higher education will help prepare future workers to secure our cyber structure, protect national security, and make our energy infrastructure more efficient. A vital, competitive, global economy with a productive workforce and a steady stream of scientific and technical innovation depends on it.

John White has served as ACM executive director and CEO since January 1999. As CEO, Dr. White is responsible for working with ACM senior leadership (the officers, the board of directors, and over 1,000 volunteers) in setting and delivering ACM’s strategic direction. During John’s tenure, ACM membership has grown to an all-time high, its scholarly publishing program has doubled in size, and the association is increasingly involved in issues related to the image and health of the computing discipline and field worldwide.

Prior to joining ACM, John was manager of the Computer Science Laboratory at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). White spent seventeen years at Xerox PARC leading several research groups, including the PARC group that developed and delivered DocuPrint, Xerox’ series of high-end, high-speed networked printing products. Prior to his tenure at Xerox PARC, John was a professor of Computer Science at the University of Connecticut.