Category Archives: Education and Workforce

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of August 3

Senate Floor: Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, S. 754 Legislation pertaining to the sharing of cybersecurity threat and vulnerability information between the public and private sectors. Monday, August 3, 2015 Briefing: The Internet Takes Flight: Commercial Drones and the Online Economy Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee Noon | 2226 Rayburn House Office Building Wednesday, August 5, [...]

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Vint Cerf Interviews U.S. CTO Megan Smith

ACM Past President Vint Cerf interviewed U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith for this month’s Communications of the ACM magazine. She spoke on key policy objectives, the need to increase the number of students in STEM fields, and the landscape of U.S. technology competitiveness in the global economy. Smith formerly served as a Vice President [...]

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Hill Tech Happenings, Week of June 15

House Floor Possible consideration of trade legislation. See below for Tuesday’s scheduled floor action. Monday, June 15, 2015 Hearing: Commercial Cyber Espionage and Barriers to Digital Trade in China U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission 9 am | 608 Dirksen Senate Office Building Briefing: “Making a Maker” and Undergraduate Research Congressional STEM Education Caucus and [...]

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Washington News – Alerts and Updates

* Congress continues to hold budget hearings. * The White House invites nominations for the National Medal of Science. The deadline is April 27. * The White House invites nominations for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The deadline is June 1. Voting * The U.S. Election Assistance Commission will hold a roundtable to [...]

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ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award – Susan H. Rodger

The Karlstrom Award recognizes educators who advanced new teaching methodologies; effected new curriculum development in Computer Science and Engineering; or contributed to ACM’s educational mission. ACM today recognized Susan H. Rodger, a Professor of the Practice in the Department of Computer Science and a member of the ACM Education Policy Committee, with the 2013 Karl [...]

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Nominations for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

April 15 is the deadline for nominations of K-6 teachers, including computer science teachers, for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Award recipients receive a certificate signed by the President, a paid [...]

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ACM Report Urges States to Expand Computer Science Education

Citing the rapid growth of computing jobs in virtually every industry sector in the United States, ACM today issued a report urging states to provide more opportunities for students to gain the skills and knowledge needed to compete for these high-wage positions. The report, Rebooting the Pathway to Success: Preparing Students for Computing Workforce Needs [...]

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New Report on Computer Science Teacher Certification in the United States

Computer science teacher certification throughout the United States is “deeply flawed” and requires coordinated action by federal and state policymakers, education administrators, and teachers to establish statewide systems and more effective approaches to prepare, support, and credential computer science teachers, according to a new report by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). As pointed out [...]

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New AP Computer Science Principles Exam

The College Board announced this month a new Advanced Placement course and exam – Computer Science Principles (AP CSP). The course will introduce high school students to fundamental concepts of computing beyond computer programming. The course will be introduced in 2016, with the first exam to be administered in 2017. The proposed curriculum will teach [...]

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Cyber Week Recap

Plenty of techies, carrying an array of digital devices and looking for power outlets, swarmed Capitol Hill last week for the so-called “cyber week” in the U.S. House of Representatives. To give you some idea of the number of tech lobbyists on scene, Wednesday’s huddle began with the announcement that one major tech company alone [...]

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House Creates Congressional App Challenge

The U.S. House of Representatives created a national academic competition this week for students to showcase their talents in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Consistent with the importance of computer science within STEM, the first annual Congressional Academic Competition will be the Congressional App Challenge. It will challenge students nationwide to develop innovative software programs [...]

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House Takes Another Crack at Updating NITRD

Yesterday the House Science, Space and Technology Committee approved legislation updating the High Performance Computing Act of 1991. That law, among other things, established the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program (NITRD). NITRD was established to coordinate federal research and development in computing, and as computing knowledge and technology change, the law should [...]

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Computer Science Education Act Introduced in Both Houses

Yesterday, Senator Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) and Representative Jared Polis (D-Colorado) introduced legislation to strengthen computer science education in the United States. Called the Computer Science Education Act (CSEA), the bill focuses on K-12 education. Here’s a summary of the key objectives of the bill, taken from the ACM press release: Fund planning grants for states [...]

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ACM Education Policy Chair Testifies to Congress on IT Research and Development

Dr. Robert Schnabel, Dean of the School of Informatics at the University of Indiana and Chair of ACM’s Education Policy Committee, testified before the House Research and Science Education Subcommittee on Thursday. The hearing focused on the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program (NITRD), a U.S. government program that coordinates the various federal [...]

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Let the Feds Know Your Thoughts on K-12 Computer Science Education

The federal government asks for advice about education fairly regularly. But it isn’t often that it asks specifically what is needed to advance K-12 computer science education. So I was pleasantly surprised when one federal program asked some key questions about K-12 CS education. Members of our community have the opportunity to speak up about [...]

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Computer Science Education Week Extends Its Reach

This is a repost from Blog@CACM, the blog connected to Communications of the ACM It was written by Debra Richardson, Chair of the 2010 Computer Science Education Week, and ACM Director of Public Policy Cameron Wilson. The 2nd annual Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) wrapped up last week, and thanks to some incredible partner support [...]

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ACM and CSTA Release Report Outlining Challenges in K-12 Computer Science Education

At a National Press Club event earlier today, ACM and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) released its report Running on Empty. According to the report, roughly two-thirds of the country have few computer science education standards for secondary school education, and most states treat high school computer science courses as simply an elective and [...]

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CS Education Gets Congressional Attention

Last week was a huge one for computer science education in the Nation’s Capital. Congressmen from both parties introduced two pieces of legislation – The Computer Science Education Act and the Computer Science Education Week Resolution – intended to help strengthen computer science education. I’ve written before that the road to education reform is long, and progress will [...]

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Computing and the Common Core

K-12 computer science education might get a boost from a recently released document called the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). This initiative is historic for the United States. For the first time forty-eight governors have come together to propose a common set of English arts and mathematics standards — which are key drivers of [...]

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Beginning to Rethink CS Education at NSF

The President released his $3.8 trillion budget on Monday setting off a flurry of activity in the Nation’s Capital. The budget sets the Administration’s priorities for the big stuff — like how much he wants to spend on education and defense — down the minutia — like how much money the Department of Agriculture wants [...]

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A Week For Computer Science Education

Computer science education reform is going to come in fits and starts working on issues from the top down (national media, federal policy, etc.) and the bottom up (in schools, districts, states, etc.). This week the “top down” piece got a nice boost from Congress by passing a resolution designating the week of December 7 [...]

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CS Education in the States

If you’ve read a recent piece I co-wrote in Communications of the ACM (membership required), you know that the States largely drive education decisions in the US. Because of this, our community has to play “wack-a-mole” when we hear about issues that pop up in the fifty states affecting computer science education. Luckily, the Computer [...]

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Putting Computing in Education’s Core

The Association for Computing Machinery recently submitted comments (PDF) on the Race to the Top Fund, an Education Department program set up to address some of its obligations under the economic stimulus legislation. The Fund is intended to reward schools and their districts that have achieved innovation and reform in the following areas: implementing standards [...]

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Education Policy Hill Briefing Highlights Computer Science Education

A Hill briefing co-sponsored by the ACM Education Policy Committee, with the support of the House STEM Education Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus covered the challenges and successes of computer science education at the K-12 level. The well-attended event (approximately 70 people) showcased a pilot program in the Los Angeles Unified School District that [...]

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NITRD Bill Amended to Increase Emphasis on Computer Science Education

Today the House passed by voice vote H.R. 2020, which is a bill to amend the High Performance Computing Act. Part of this law establishes the National Information Technology Research and Development Program, or NITRD. NITRD helps coordinate national efforts in computer science and information technology through strategic planning and other coordinating activities. The new [...]

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ACM Co-Sponsors Hill Briefing on Education

On May 20th, ACM will co-sponsor a briefing on Capitol Hill with the House STEM Education Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus. The event, “Bringing Innovative Computing Curriculum Across the Digital Divide,” will be held from 12-1:30 p.m. at B339 Rayburn House Office Building. The event is open to the public, but space is limited. [...]

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Educating NITRD

As far as obscure government acronyms go, NITRD is a pretty good one. It stands for the National Information Technology Research and Development program. This program cuts across numerous federal agencies to carry out and coordinate investments in IT R&D. In 2007, the President’s Council of Advisory on Science and Technology (PCAST … another doozy [...]

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ACM Urges Obama To Include Computer Science As A Core Component Of Science And Math Education

Yesterday President-Elect Obama announced his intention to nominate Arne Duncan for the Secretary of Education. Mr. Duncan is currently CEO of Chicago’s school system. On the heels of this announcement, ACM’s Education Policy Committee released a new policy brief to the incoming President making several recommendations to strengthen the state of the computer science education [...]

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New Math and Science Study Shows Rising Elementary Math Scores, Significant Challenges

Yesterday the National Center for Education Statistics released the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). This study assesses math and science at the 4th and 8th grade levels. (Computer science concepts are not tested.) Because the data is presented by NCES (and funded by the U.S. Federal Government) the report is very [...]

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USACM Chair Spafford Addresses Information Security Curricula

USACM Chair Eugene Spafford recently made predictions about information security curriculua in American higher education for CSO Magazine. You can read his comments online. According to Spafford, information security is like most areas of information technology where there is often more demand than students available. In the areas of cyber forensics and information, the curriculum [...]

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EDUCAUSE Analyzes University IT Workforce – Potential Shortage Ahead

While ACM has focused on Information Technology workforce issues, we have rarely had the opportunity to look at specific sectors in detail. EDUCAUSE is focused on Information Technology in higher education, and I want to note a recently released study their research center conducted on the IT workforce in higher education. Leading the IT Workforce [...]

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Primer on IT Workforce Issues

In June, ACM, along with CRA and the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT), hosted a roundtable discussion with government affairs officials from some of the top IT companies (Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Google, etc.). The goal was to give them perspective on workforce issues that the professional computing organizations find while working within [...]

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AP Computer Science is NOT Going Away

Today’s Washington Post has an article stating that the College Board, (the body that administers Advanced Placement courses) is doing away with several AP courses — including one computer science course. Reading the article, you’d likely reach the conclusion, as attested by e-mails I’ve seen this morning, that all AP computer science courses are being [...]

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’08 Tech Policy Outlook: The “Innovation Agenda”

Continuing our weekly posts reviewing key technology policy issues facing Congress, this week we tackle the so-called “innovation agenda.” This agenda has been defined by a loose collection of business, academic groups and professional/scientific societies (both ACM and CRA work on these issues) interested in improving the innovation ecosystem. The agenda is organized around four [...]

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NSF Education Directorate Seeking Computer Science Expertise

The National Science Foundation’s Education and Human Resources Directorate is looking for a new program director to serve as the point person on computer science education issues. The position is located within the Division of Undergraduate information and the description/duties are below: “The person selected for this position will serve as the Lead Program Director [...]

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Congress Abandons Commitment to Basic Research; Puts NIST in the Construction Business

For two years the debate about how to bolster innovation and competitiveness has consumed Washington. Numerous reports (1,2,3,4,5, we could keep going …) recommended boosting funding for basic research, and science and math education to respond to growing global competition. These drove a bipartisan consensus (and new law — the COMPETEs Act), between the President [...]

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New STEM Ed. Plan Runs Into Old Obstacles

Policy fights often boil down to a rather fundamental debate — federal vs. local control. Education policy always seems to be on the front lines, particularly when it comes to K-12 education. It isn’t surprising to see familiar battle lines being draw over a new plan for coordinating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education [...]

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IT Job Prospects and Salaries on the Rise

Continued declines in interest and enrollment in computer science has troubled the computing community for the past few years. After the dot-com bubble burst, employment fell and computer science majors rationally followed suit. However, in the past couple of years this trend has continued to puzzle the field’s leaders who hear widespread but anecdotal stories [...]

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Top Tech. Advisors Call for New Focus on IT Workers and Curriculum

The President’s top advisory council on science and technology issues today released a report finding that the current supply of U.S. networking and information technology professionals is falling short of what is needed. In addition to an inadequate number of workers, the report states that worker education and training is lacking. To address this, the [...]

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Breakthrough on Innovation Legislation: Congress to Expand STEM Education Programs

Update #2: The Senate passed the final conference report late this evening (8/2/07), so the bill is headed to the President’s desk. Update: The legislation passed the House this evening (8/2/07) by a vote of 367-57. After two years of discussion, Congress has finally agreed to a comprehensive “competitiveness” legislative package intended to create, expand [...]

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Radical Education Reform in Response to Globalization

We don’t cover broad education issues on this blog, but we do cover aspects of globalization — particularly after ACM’s report on the globalization and offshoring in the software industry. It is hard to separate the two issues. Education is clearly connected to workforce issues, which are, in turn, connected to globalization. Realizing these deep [...]

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Meet the New Boss: Outlook for Technology Policy in the Next Congress

Update 11/16/06: One of the problems of doing a laundry-list type post like this is that you miss some issues, and some nuance when trying to summarize complex policy issues. Notably missing from this list are issues such as patent reform and reviving the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). We don’t follow patent reform very [...]

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“New” Competitiveness Legislation Introduced in the Senate

In the ongoing saga of the American Competitiveness Initiative (see our previous weblog posts on the subject) a “new” piece of legislation has been introduced in Congress. On Tuesday Senator Frist (R-TN), along with Senator Reid (D-NV) introduced the National Competitiveness Investment Act (S3936 – currently unavailable online). This is in effect a consolidation of [...]

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Offshoring Implications: Innovate to Succeed

I was planning to post part two of the Fall tech agenda next, but the U.S. General Accounting Office released a good report last week studying offshoring in the semiconductor and software industries. Actually this is the third report on this subject in the past few weeks. (We blogged about the Department of Commerce’s report [...]

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Technology Administration Report On Offshoring Released

At the end of July, Democrats on the House Science Committee released portions of a previously unreleased official report on globalization by the Administration; specifically the globalization and offshoring of knowledge-based industries. The report drew some controversy earlier in the year because the Administration only released a shorter 12-page version. The longer version, of which [...]

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Voice Of America: U.S. Computer Programmers Losing Ground

Voice of America ran an article today looking at issues of education and globalization and impacts on the U.S. computer science pipeline. The article starts by pointing out America’s poor showing in ACM’s international programing contest: “From 1977 until 1989, the winner was always a U.S. college team. And American students were among the top [...]

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ACM President Sees Need for Policies That Attract Students to Technology

Update 5/1/06: Sorry for the delay in posting this link as it slipped my mind, but last week’s Business Week did a news analysis good titled A Red Flag In The Brain Game piece on ACM’s ICPC. It discusses why this contest should be a wake up call to the U.S. generally (policymakers, industry and [...]

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ACM Releases Major Report on the Globalization of Software

After more than year of study, today ACM released its report (press release below, .pdf is here) examining issues surrounding the migration of jobs within the computing and information technology field. It found that, despite the media drumbeat on offshoring, that the demand for IT jobs remains strong. However, that doesn’t mean countries can be [...]

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“Competitiveness” Policy Takes Partisan Turn in the House

Over the past couple of weeks I have covered (1,2) President Bush’s American Competitiveness Initiative. By and large, the response to this plan was bipartisan because he was embracing ideas that already had bipartisan champions in the Senate and were broadly supported by industry and the academic community. The House is another matter.

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Congress Creates New $4.5 Billion Math and Science Education Program

In early November, I wrote a piece outlining Congress’ budget endgame. We are just beginning to see the final bills now (one is over 700 pages by itself), so we will post stories about what actually happened as we digest them. The first program that stands out is an entirely new $4.5 billion program of [...]

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Policy Makers Return to DC With Full Agenda

After a quiet August things are really picking up in Washington. Congress’ attention is squarely focused on the suffering and hardship caused by hurricane Katrina. ACM’s President Dave Patterson issued a statement to ACM members with suggestions on what the technology community can do to help. While dealing with this disaster will likely remain Congress’ [...]

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Congress to Bolster Math & Science Programs

Update (7/29/05): Here is the final text of the math/science amendment that was adopted. The larger bill passed the House Education and Workforce Committee by a 27-20 vote. This provision will probably be somewhat contentious as the bill moves forward, not because of substance but because of the program it replaces. We would be curious [...]

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South Korea Outlines Strategy for IT Development

Business Week has an interesting article about South Korea’s efforts to remain an IT leader in the global marketplace. Most people think of South Korea’s aggressive investments in broadband, but it looks like they are articulating a strategy for leveraging those investments into new technology in the consumer market — the term “ubiquitous computing” is [...]

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ACM & CRA Host UMich SI Intern

Maurice Solomon, a graduate student in information economics and policy at the University of Michigan School of Information, is spending the week working with the ACM and CRA Washington D.C. offices. The visit is part of the school’s Alternative Spring Break program, which seeks to help students gain experience and learn new skills though partnerships [...]

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ACM Job Migration Task Force Meets in D.C.

ACM’s Job Migration Task Force held a meeting earlier this month in Washington, D.C. Among others, the Task Force heard presentations from representatives of the Institute for International Economics, the Cato Institute, the Economic Policy Institute, and the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO). The group, co-chaired by Moshe Y. Vardi (Rice University) and Frank Mayadas [...]

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Forecast: Half of U.S. IT operations jobs to vanish in 20 years

“In an eyebrow-raising forecast, Gartner Inc. researchers said they believe that as many as 50% of the IT operational jobs in the U.S. could disappear over the next two decades because of improvements in data center technologies. Donna Scott, a Gartner analyst, said IT workers face a situation similar to that in the manufacturing field, [...]

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New program aims to help with tech worker training, networking

“A new [Oregon] program for information technology workers is aimed at helping companies from call centers to wood product mills. The program, called the Oregon Training Network and backed by Gov. Ted Kulongoski and the Software Association of Oregon, is developing classes to be offered in Oregon to information technology workers throughout the state. The [...]

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Fixing a busted IT research system

“James Foley is worried. As chairman of the Computing Research Association–a group made up of academic departments, research centers and professional societies–his job at CRA is to improve computing research and education. But Foley sees troubling trends in the nation’s system for nurturing and training new information technology scientists [...]” SOURCE: CNET

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