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Computer Science Initiatives for Wisconsin

CS4WI believes that every student in Wisconsin, regardless of their zip code, gender, race, or socioeconomic status deserves the opportunity to learn computer science skills that currently define, and will continue to define, the critical thinking and job skills necessary for our state to thrive.

Wisconsin can be a national leader in computer science education, and to get there we support three major priorities for the state to accomplish:

Fund Professional Development for Computer Science Teachers

In 2016, Wisconsin colleges and universities only graduated 2 new teachers prepared to teach computer science. To address this critical shortage area, Wisconsin should provide resources for professional learning to prepare in-service teachers from diverse backgrounds to teach K-12 computer science. Funding priority should be given to districts in which a demonstrable effort will be made to engage underrepresented groups. This will expand the capacity for in-service teachers and as a result, access for students across Wisconsin.

Create a State CS Position at DPI

Although state law currently requires all districts to provide computer science instruction to its students, only 32% of high schools offer at least one computer science course. A computer science leader at the Department of Public Instruction similar to other subject area leaders would coordinate efforts and resources to ensure all districts are able to provide quality computer science instruction to all students.

Create a State Plan for Computer Science

While positive steps such as defining K-12 computer science standards for Wisconsin have been undertaken in the state, much work remains to ensure equitable access across the state to computer science education. A common statewide plan with broad stakeholder engagement and a strong vision for the state’s goals around computer science would put Wisconsin on a strong path to becoming a national leader.