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Lausd Announces Sweeping Expansion of Computer Science Course Work


student and LA teacher

A training program will help L.A. Unified teachers explain how computers work to students at all grade levels.

Credit: The Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and Code.org are collaborating to launch a sweeping expansion of computer science coursework, according to officials. The three-year effort involves training LAUSD teachers to help students at all grade levels learn about how computers work, enabling them to eventually teach advanced computer coding at the high school level. "It's important to know what's behind the applications and how they're developed," says LAUSD's Todd Ullah. Code.org is training a cohort of Los Angeles educators to pass skills onto their colleagues. Some of the training and part of the curriculum is online, while Code.org also is contributing course materials.

"Teaching students how to code enhances their relevant skills, no matter what academic or career path they eventually choose," says LAUSD superintendent John Deasy. "Coding is, by any measure in a digital-age economy, an essential skill, and is something that all students should have the opportunity to learn." LAUSD's computer curriculum currently is used in 41 schools, reaching 3,000 students a year.

"Our focus is about access and equity to kids in urban settings," Ullah says. He also notes many students in urban school systems lack exposure to technology at home as well as in school.

From The Los Angeles Times
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