There is unprecedented interest and action this legislative session aimed at expanding computer science in Utah’s K-12 system. In collaboration with state leaders, industry partners, educators, the Utah School Board Association, and the State Superintendent, we have identified several ways that you and your organization can get involved. Check out all of the ways you can participate and we will follow up directly with you.
Thank you for working tirelessly to create opportunities for Utah’s students. We would like to help Utah become a leader in K-12 computer science education.
Utah is home to the computing revolution that transforms our lives and provides high-paying jobs. Computing is now a fundamental part of daily life, commerce, and just about every occupation in today’s economy. According to the Conference Board, there are more than 4,000 current open computing jobs in Utah, with an average salary of over $81,000, nearly double the the average salary in the state. At the same time, only 405 exams were taken in AP Computer Science by high school students in Utah in 2017. Lack of access in urban and rural schools also creates inequity for underrepresented minority students; in the entire state of Utah, only 4 Black students and 30 Hispanic or Latino students took an AP Computer Science exam in 2017. In order for Utah companies to compete both nationally and globally, we need to make sure every student in the state has access to this foundational skill.
There is unprecedented interest and action this legislative session aimed at expanding computer science in Utah’s K-12 system. The main priority for the state should be for all Utah schools to offer at least one computer science course by 2023 and the creation of a comprehensive strategic plan to do so. A plan should include mechanisms for funding professional development for teachers and developing K-12 computer science standards. Such capacity building will help to ensure that goal can be met through teachers in the classroom and will lay a foundation for sustainable K-12 computer science education in Utah. We want your support for a broad statewide effort to increase student access.
Computer science education draws overwhelming support — not only from the tech industry and its leaders, but among regular Americans who want their children to be prepared for the software century. Our shared goal should be that every K-12 student has access to high-quality computer science. Real progress will require meaningful investment.
We would be grateful if you would consider our efforts to expand this critical subject in Utah’s schools, and would welcome a meeting with a subset of us to discuss how we can work together and make Utah a computer science trailblazer. We truly appreciate all of your work on behalf of Utah’s students.