Addressing the Computer Science Teacher Shortage
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was implemented to close student achievement gaps and ensure that every child in America would be provided with a solid education. It has since been replaced. But even under the new measure – Every Student Succeeds Act – problems and inequities in education persist. Studies conducted by Code.org show that U.S schools are missing the mark in computer science. Across 37 states, only 4.7% of high school students are enrolled in foundational computer science. Part of the problem is finding qualified teachers to teach the next generation of tech talent. With the industry showing no signs of slowing down, education leaders should consider increasing efforts in hiring remote CS teachers. These experts have the training and experience to prepare students in K-12 for a promising career in computer science.
Look at the latest technological advancements and it’s evident that computer science is ubiquitous. Smart phones. Self-driving vehicles. Wearable devices. Pervasive computing is everywhere and it’s a growing trend that’s here to stay. However, to keep up with a world of automation, the expansion of computer science education in America needs to be kicked into high gear. According to the Code.org Advocacy Coalition, just 51% of high schools offer computer science. Research studies indicate that students of color and those residing in rural and low-income communities are least likely to attend schools that offer the subject. In fact, many computer science courses are taught by a teacher who does not hold a computer science teaching credential: only 46% of computer science teachers held a credential in computer science. How can we mitigate disparities if access is limited to those of certain backgrounds? Who’s going to fill vacant job positions, if many aren’t equipped with the skills needed to perform the duties required for tech roles? These are valid questions and issues that leaders in education need to confront. With the help of remote CS teachers, those worries can be put to rest.
Hiring remotes CS teachers increases the quality of computer science education. Studies show that the integration of coding and computational skills improves one’s ability to problem-solve and analyze. Students are taught to identify problems, create step-by-step instructions, and fix errors – all of which helps children gain a better understanding of how technology works. By incorporating CS education, students acquire the tools needed to succeed in a digital world, especially since computing, in some form, is present in nearly every profession. Virtual instructors not only possess the necessary credentials to lead classroom discussions surrounding computer science, but also put students in a position to gain a competitive advantage in the workplace.
Building curriculum for a new subject can be a huge undertaking and, quite frankly, not one many schools can dedicate resources to. Rex Academy makes the transition into CS education a seamless process. Our goal is to provide an atmosphere where students can creatively think and build. We design engaging curriculum, while utilizing a variety of learning materials and platforms to help students become proficient in programming. We’re aware that tech is an ever-changing industry, and our instructors are trained to evolve with it. They participate in professional development, staying up to date on the latest trends and technologies. With very few educators teaching computer science, we understand that peer collaboration can be a challenge. But Rex Academy’s collaborative platform provides teachers an opportunity to share and learn from other educators across the globe. It is our intent to develop a strong CS learning community. And to achieve this, we believe exposure is key. That’s why our program features a wide range of computer science offerings to enhance the opportunity for students to develop an interest in tech and dig deeper into subjects they find intriguing. We’ve created the content and coursework to ensure every student is caught up in computer science, leaving no one left behind.