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Senate President Richard J. Codey, D-Essex, testifying before the Senate Health Committee on his bill which would increase education and participation in organ donation programs in New Jersey.

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 today.

“As the economy becomes more reliant on programmers and digital experts, students who go through school without being taught extensively about computer science will be left behind. School is many things, but the first goal of an education is to prepare students for jobs and a sound future,” said Codey (D-Essex, Morris). “The federal government estimates that there will be 4.2 million jobs in the computing and information technology fields in the United States. We must ensure that New Jersey’s students are learning the right sets of skills to be prepared to get these jobs.”

The bill (S-2302) would require courses in computer science be incorporated into the school day, giving districts flexibility into how to implement the new rules. The curriculum will encompass the study of computers and algorithmic processes and include the study of computing principles, computer hardware, software design, computer applications, and the impact of computers on society. The state Board of Education would incorporate the new guidelines into the existing Technology and Science Core Curriculum Content Standards.

The bill was approved by a vote of 35-1, and now heads to the Assembly.

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.