Dr. Carol Fletcher, Center for STEM Education Deputy Director, represented Texas and The University of Texas at Austin at the ECEP and White House Symposium on State Implementation of Computer Science for All on October 28, 2016. Dr. Fletcher participated in a panel discussion with state leaders from California and Maryland which highlighted the WeTeach_CS project’s statewide teacher professional development successes. “WeTeach_CS trained over 1,300 Texas educators last year and supported over 180 current teachers of subjects such as mathematics, science, and technology to achieve an additional computer science (CS) certification. Our network of partners under the CS4TX umbrella has increased the number of CS certified teachers by 128% year-over-year,” stated Fletcher.
The White House Symposium was part of a two-day Summit in Washington, D.C. for the National Science Foundation’s Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) project, for which Fletcher serves as a Texas lead. The goal of ECEP and the CS for All movement is to expand access to CS education for all students. State leadership teams from 16 states and Puerto Rico all shared successes and challenges around policy, professional development and public awareness efforts that support Computer Science for All. Other Symposium participants included leaders in CS from the National Science Foundation, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the US Department of Education. Megan Smith, United States Chief Technology Officer, highlighted the importance of broadening participation in computer science for our nation’s future economic competitiveness.