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Association for Computing Machinery Statement on Release of PCAST STEM Education Report

For More Information Contact:
Sara Appleyard Adams

September 16, 2010

Below are statements from Bobby Schnabel (Chair, Education Policy Committee, Association for Computing Machinery; Dean of Informatics, Indiana University) and Chris Stephenson (Executive Director, Computer Science Teachers Association) on the release today of Prepare and Inspire: K-12 Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for America’s Future from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).   

Bobby Schnabel:
"We are very pleased that the report by the highest level advisory council to the President defines STEM in a broadly inclusive way to include computer science, which has not been the case in previous high-level discussions about STEM skills.  

"The Council’s inclusion of computer science as part of STEM is a milestone for computer science education. It affirms the central role computer science should have in K-12 education. 

"We hope the report's findings, along with other awareness-building efforts like Computer Science Education Week, will help remove obstacles to improved computer science education. We need to provide more courses, uniform teacher certification requirements, and comprehensive achievement standards." 

Chris Stephenson:
"The report rightly notes that all students should have the opportunity to take a rigorous computer science course and, more importantly, describes what that kind of course looks like. 

"Computer science education needs to move beyond mere technological literacy, such as keyboarding and use of the Internet, to focus on understanding and applying algorithmic and computational thinking, among other advanced concepts.  We applaud the report for pointing out this common misperception about computing and clearly defining the field of study."  

Read the related article in Science Insider

About ACM 
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery , is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.


About Computer Science Teachers Association
The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) is a membership organization that supports and promotes the teaching of computer science and the other computing disciplines by providing opportunities for K-12 teachers and students to better understand the computing disciplines and to more successfully prepare themselves to teach and to learn. CSTA provides its over 7500 members with resources, research, and professional development opportunities. CSTA was founded by ACM in 2005.  


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