RD503 - CodeVA 2021-2022 State Report

Executive Summary:

CodeVA is a state-funded, Virginia-based nonprofit that partners with schools, parents, and communities to bring equitable computer science education to all of Virginia's students. All of CodeVA’s programs, services and curricular resources are provided at no cost to Virginia public school divisions and teachers, with a focus on creating equitable access to the resources that school divisions need to implement the Virginia Computer Science Standards of Learning. Founded in 2013 as a response to a dual critical shortage of computer science educators and computer science workforce, CodeVA’s work with students, parents, teachers, school districts, industry partners and policymakers is statewide in scope and impact. CodeVA’s objectives are to train Virginia’s educators in how to teach computer science and computational thinking, and to broaden participation among minoritized students and underrepresented groups in STEM+C (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science). Demand from Virginia’s various industries reliant on computer science is for increased participation among females, as well as Black and Latino students. CodeVA advances these goals through a multifaceted approach including public advocacy and awareness, funded research programs, public educator training programs and curriculum development, and direct student programs.

Virginia has thus far maintained its leadership in policy and implementation of K-12 CS - an important distinction and accomplishment nationally, considering the growing competitiveness among states to attract high-tech employers and entrepreneurs. In 2018, partly on the strength of its K-12 CS commitment, as stated in the Virginia Computer Science Standards of Learning, Virginia became Amazon’s choice for its HQ2. This trend has continued into 2022, with Google pledging further investment in Virginia - and a keen interest in Governor Glenn Youngkin’s announcement for a planned Virginia Computer Science Lab School Network aimed at supporting Virginia’s efforts to grow its tech talent pipeline.

CodeVA has been involved in many of these announcements, and is a key mention in the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Blueprint 2030 plan, which recognizes as essential CodeVA’s mission to foster a sustainable and effective computer science educator ecosystem within Virginia’s schools. In spite of continued strains on public school educators, which have compounded over the past three years leading to record teacher attrition and a parallel decline in teacher participation in professional development, CodeVA’s work continues to grow and reach new participants.