Policy Change

To help accomplish the Mobilize aim of fostering inventiveness and innovation among students and teachers through reforming and strengthening K-12 CS education, our Computer Science Teachers Association partner will provide our critical link to the national policy agenda through its on-going policy work. In general, the policy outcomes are directed at encouraging schools to make rigorous computer science content available to all grade levels, ensuring that teachers are adequately and appropriately prepared to teach those courses with a CS certification process established, ensuring that computer science courses are assigned appropriate course codes (indicating that they are rigorous academic courses rather than vocational courses), and addressing key pipeline issues by increasing student participation (especially of under-represented student populations) in computer science courses. Keeping in mind that the decision-making authority for policy issues varies from state to state, CSTA will take the leadership role in advocating and organizing for specific policy outcomes for the local, state, and national level.  Examples of policy initiatives needed are:

Local and State

  • Computer science courses to be counted as a college preparatory graduation requirement for math, science, or computer science credit
  • Teacher certification requirements for teachers provide multiple pathways to the computer science classroom and that all classroom teachers have the appropriate technical, content, and pedagogical knowledge to effectively support student learning.
  • Providing students, parents, guidance counselors, and administrators with relevant, timely career information as it relates to computer science.
  • Help educators and administrators to understand the critical connection between ethnic and gender diversity within the information technology field and computing courses as crucial to the long-term success of the information technology field.


  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act, America COMPETEs Act, Perkins Reauthorization, and Higher Education Act be improved to strengthen computer science education at the K-12 level.

Activities/Actions Likely to Obtain These Ends

  • Ensure that policy makers have a better understanding of the link between access to rigorous computer science education in K-12 and the national economic imperative to support innovation and excellence in computing.
  • Ensure that major educational initiatives and legislation focused on K-12 education (and most specifically on STEM education) include computer science education as a major component.

To achieve the stated ends, the MOBILIZE project will undertake the following activities:

  • Working directly with key legislative staff on upcoming legislation.
  • Conduct a study of state level certification specialists in each state to determine how closely their certification requirements meet the CSTA framework; work with them on the steps they can take to refine their computer science teacher requirements.
  • Continue to work with industry partners to identify workforce and talent needs to ensure that students are college and career ready.
  • Define a set of criteria for teachers entering the field from four defined pathways (new teachers, teachers with CS experience, teachers with no CS experience, teachers coming from business) and work with education policy makers to help them rationalize their requirements in accordance with these criteria.
  • Develop and disseminate materials (careers brochures, white papers, research results, policy briefings) to help local teacher leaders communicate with policy makers and stakeholders regarding issues such as course codes, curriculum, the importance of allowing CS to count as a senior credit for graduation purposes, and the need to improve and rationalize computer science teacher certification requirements and programs.
  • Provide ongoing professional development and support for the Teacher Leadership Cohort (two teacher leaders from each state) and the leaders of CSTA chapters across the country.