These initiatives will likely lead to positive changes in education for years to come, yet there is no significant computer science content in either the mathematics standards or the NGSS (Note: NGSS is the Next Generation Science Standards). This is a serious issue considering the key role computer science and computing plays in our economy, society and our everyday lives. Advancing our students’ understanding of the principles and practices of computing is critical to developing a globally competitive workforce for the 21st century.
It’s not surprising that special interest groups will complain that this or that is ignored in the Common Core. The standards do not address computer technology–or medical technology, or science standards, or journalism standards, or music, or art. In fact, it’s virtually impossible to cover the whole breadth and depth of human knowledge in one set of standards.
But these special interests are NOT ignored or left out of the standards. Rather, they are one of the numerous Enduring Topics that need to be more fully developed. p. 33 of the ELA standards discusses the importance of “Staying on a Topic Within a Grade and Across Grades: How to Build Knowledge Systematically in the English Language Arts K-5″. This single page should be where special interests camp. A helpful strategy for any special interest would be to develop reading lists “within and across grades” and to delineate some of the major themes that should be covered for their domain. Sample lesson plans would help, such as this one I’ve written on Are Search Engines Objective or Subjective: A Common Core Essay.
One of the biggest discussions coming for Common Core is exactly what topics should be Enduring Topics, those which deserve this sort of close attention while choosing books to read for information. The English Language Arts curriculum is no longer blind to specific topic or specific domains of knowledge; rather, this requirement to build knowledge within and across grades demands that educators discuss which topics are deserving of this attention. Certainly, computer technology is one of those enduring topic domains.
Google, you’re not left out of the Common Core State Standards; you just haven’t done a close enough reading to see exactly where you can fit in and shine.