Announcing a New Framework to Define K-12 Computer Science Education

Computing Leaders ACM, Code.org, and CSTA launch effort to guide educators and policymakers on K-12 computer science



January 7, 2016

For most states and school districts, the notion of computer science for every student is a relatively new and unexplored topic. Responding to parent demand for their children to have access to computer science, there’s been a major shift in thinking by states and school districts about how to make computer science part of core academic work. They are asking big questions of the computing community: What is the appropriate scope and sequence for K-12 computer science? What does the community expect every student to learn in elementary school, in middle school, or by the time they graduate high school? And why?

CSTA, ACM, and Code.org are joining forces with more than 100 advisors within the computing community (higher ed faculty, researchers, and K-12 teachers, many of whom are also serving as writers for the framework), several states and large school districts, technology companies, and other organizations to steer a process to build a framework to help answer these questions. A steering committee initially comprised of the Computer Science Teachers Association, the Association for Computing Machinery, and Code.org will oversee this project.

The framework will identify key K-12 computer science concepts and practices we expect students exiting grades 2, 5, 8, and 12 to know. This effort will not develop educational standards. We expect that states and school districts will use the framework to create their own frameworks, guidance, and standards, and the CSTA has its own independent process for developing detailed K-12 computer science standards.

Underpinning this effort is our belief that computer science provides foundational learning benefiting every child. Computer science gives students a set of essential knowledge and skills important for students’ learning and for their future careers and interests. This work is about defining the basic expectations for what every student should have a chance to learn about K-12 computer science to prepare for the emerging demands of the 21st century — not just to major in computer science or secure jobs as software engineers.

The projected release date for the framework is summer 2016. More information, including monthly updates and how to get involved, can be found at K12CS.org.


Mark Nelson
Executive Director of CSTA

Mehran Sahami
Chair, ACM Education Board

Cameron Wilson
Chief Operating Officer, Code.org


For more information, contact press@code.org




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