Making Computer Science Education Universal for All Students
Author: Ruthe Farmer
This proposal outlines steps for the federal government to establish a national initiative to accelerate the implementation of rigorous computer science (CS) education for preschool through 12th grade (P-12) students in the United States. The initiative should include investments in evidence-based education pathways that incorporate computational thinking, computer programming (coding), cybersecurity, data science, social impacts of computing, and ethics, and prepare students for future careers working with technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, virtual/augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, automation, cybersecurity and other emerging and future technologies. This initiative is critical to enhancing the United States’ global competitiveness, economic growth, and technological innovation, while addressing pressing social challenges such as healthcare, social mobility, climate change and national security in an increasingly technology-driven and innovation-based global economy.
About the Author
Ruthe Farmer is a national advocate for gender equity and diversity in technology, and has focused her efforts on diversity in technology and engineering since 2001. At CSforALL, she serves as Chief Evangelist, working to invite new stakeholders to the CSforALL table - and make the table bigger. Prior to joining CSforALL, Ruthe served as Senior Policy Advisor for Tech Inclusion at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy focusing on President Obama’s call to action for Computer Science for All, led strategy and K-12 programs at the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), and implemented national tech and engineering programs at Girl Scouts of the USA. She has launched and scaled multiple national inclusion programs including Aspirations in Computing, TECHNOLOchicas, the AspireIT outreach program, Lego Robotics for Girl Scouts, Intel Design & Discovery and more. She served as 2012 Chair of CSEDWeek, was named a White House Champion of Change for Technology Inclusion in 2013, received the Anita Borg Institute Award for Social Impact in 2014, and the UK Alumni Award for Social Impact in 2015. Ruthe holds a BA from Lewis & Clark College and an MBA focused on Social Entrepreneurship from the University of Oxford Said Business School.