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Improved NITRD to Address Computer Science Education Issues


ACM, the Computing Research Association (CRA), and National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) are working to improve the profile of computer science education efforts as part of the federal government's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program.

NITRD spans several government agencies to coordinate investments in information technology (IT) research and development. In 2007, the President's Council of Advisory on Science and Technology issued a report containing several recommendations for NITRD, including the need to improve computing education and strengthen the IT workforce pipeline.

ACM, CRA, and NCWIT are working together on a letter outlining ideas of how NITRD could be improved and used to address computer science education issues, specifically at the K-12 level. The letter aims to strengthen the pipeline by expanding, better utilizing, and coordinating existing education efforts within the NITRD program. The letter offers four specific recommendations: Promoting computing education, particularly at the K-12 level, and increasing exposure to computing education and research opportunities for women and minorities as core elements of the NITRD program; requiring the NITRD program to address education and diversity programs in its strategic planning processes; expanding efforts at the National Science Foundation to focus on computer science education by broadening the Math Science Partnership program; and enlisting the U.S. Department of Education and its resources to address computer science education issues.

From Computing Research Association
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