TRENTON — Legislation sponsored by Senator Richard J. Codey that will help New Jersey’s students compete in tomorrow’s digital economy by requiring new statewide computer science guidelines that go beyond the basic understanding of how to operate and use computers cleared the Senate Education Committee today.
“For today’s students to compete in tomorrow’s economy, they need to know more than how to use the Internet and play video games,” said Codey (D-Essex, Morris). “All students need to be introduced to a much deeper level of understanding about computer science, including programming and applications.”
The bill (S-2302) would require courses in computer science be taught in grades 6 through 12 that encompass the study of computers and algorithmic processes and include the study of computing principles, computer hardware and software design, computer applications, and the impact of computers on society.
“The federal government estimates that there will be 4.2 million jobs in the computing and information technology fields in the United States,” said Codey. “We must ensure that New Jersey’s students are learning the right sets of skills to be prepared to get these jobs.”
The bill was approved by a committee vote of 4-1.
Under the bill, the State Board of Education would develop guidelines in computer science that will do the following:
· Prepare students to understand the nature of computer science and its place in the modern world;
· Foster an understanding that computer science interweaves concepts and skills;
· Enable students to use computer science skills, primarily computational thinking, in their problem-solving activities in other subjects;
· Complement information technology and Advanced Placement computer science curricula in school districts in which they are currently offered.