Investing in Teacher Preparation for the Classrooms of Today

CSforALL Announces $20M of Private Investments to Schools of Education to Endow Sustainable CS Teacher Preparation.

Computer science (CS) education has pipeline problems, but it is not just contained to computer science graduates. In order to prepare a highly qualified and diverse workforce, policymakers have enacted K-12 policies, including standards, focused on providing access to and encouraging equitable participation in computer science learning from elementary to high school. Despite funding, standards, and general buy-in about the importance of computer science, almost half of schools in the country still do not even offer computer science courses. (Code, 2021)

The pipeline we are missing is teachers. The United States has embarked on a historic investment in education reform, providing professional learning to thousands of teachers who are currently in classrooms. This costly approach was meant to close the gap between existing teacher knowledge and the new standards and content needed in our technological world. It is critical that we also invest in teacher preparation to ensure new teachers are also prepared for our computational classrooms.

Today, CSforALL announces the next stage in the ongoing work of the organization to ensure that high-quality computer science education is a part of the educational experience of all students and teachers. The recently released, Action to Catalyze Tech Report identifies key recommendations to transform future pathways into tech for underrepresented talent and calls for a coalition to solve the acute lack of computer science (CS) teachers in part by funding endowed centers of excellence for CS teaching in colleges that will create the largest number of Black and Hispanic/Latinx CS teachers. CSforALL will lead the coalition of institutions and continue to work to identify additional investors and colleges and universities to expand the work.

Based on the recommendations to build systems capacity to create more CS teachers at all levels from the ACT Report, we are excited to share a collective $20 million donation for groundbreaking investments in schools of education across the United States.

The initial investments are:

  • California State University, Dominguez Hills, and Georgia State University will each receive $5 million from Snap Inc.
  • University of Florida and University of Texas at El Paso will each receive $5 million from philanthropist Ken Griffin, Founder and CEO of Citadel Capital, and Hopper Dean Foundation, respectively.
CSUDH and GSU will each receive $5M from Snap Inc. and UF and UTEP will each receive $5M from philanthropist Ken Griffin, Founder and CEO of Citadel Capital, and Hopper Dean Foundation, respectively.

Each University has designed a funding approach in partnership with the donors, that builds on the strengths of each institution, creates a sustainable approach to ensuring teacher candidates from the Universities have a basic understanding of grade-appropriate CS for the grades and subjects they will be teaching, and ensures the schools who hire their graduates have teachers fully prepared for the classrooms they will step into. Together, these institutions will prepare 1,000 new CS teachers a year. Each year of graduates has the potential to impact 1 million students over their collective careers.

These investments are not only transformative because they provide sustainable resources to the universities, but they also focus on institutions that prepare Black and Hispanic teachers. These teachers will then serve as in-classroom role models for students, and change forever the perception of who can do computer science.

Today we also update computingteacher.org to the new CSforED website, which contains data from a nationwide survey of preservice teacher programs, in-depth case studies of 15 institutional programs, and information about teacher preparation in each state. This work was done in partnership with the University of Indiana at the Center for Research on Learning & Technology and funded by Google’s CS-ER program. Combined with CSforALL’s previous reports and research, we have created a home for information about teacher preparation in Computer Science education.

CSforALL is committed to the systems change, like reforming our teacher education programs, that will create sustainable and equitable outcomes for youth. Find out more about CSforALL by joining us for a monthly community call, following us on social media, or subscribing to our newsletter.

CSforALL is the national hub of the computer science for all movement with a mission to make high-quality computer science an integral part of K-12 education in the United States. We connect providers, schools and districts, funders, and researchers working toward the goal of providing quality CS education to every child in the United States, and engage with diverse stakeholders leading computer science initiatives across the nation to support and facilitate implementation of rigorous, inclusive, and sustainable computer science.

For more information: www.csforall.org. Twitter: @CSforALL

The national hub for the Computer Science for All movement, making high-quality computer science education an integral part of K-12 education in the US.