RD83 - A Review of Computer Science in the Commonwealth Report – November 2021

Executive Summary:

This report is submitted pursuant to House Bill 1885 passed during the 2021 Special Session I of the Virginia General Assembly legislation, which required the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to conduct a review of the 2017 Computer Science Standards of Learning in the Commonwealth.

Requires the Department of Education to perform a comprehensive review of the ongoing implementation of mandatory computer science standards in elementary schools and middle schools and the alignment of middle school and high school computer science courses and course pathways. The bill requires such review to include recommendations for implementation processes at the local level, profiles of implementation processes that have been successful for school divisions, a description of opportunities for enhanced collaboration with relevant computer science stakeholders to expand computer science education opportunities for all students in the Commonwealth and for relevant professional development for teachers, and examining methods of data collection annually from local school divisions pertaining to computer science implementation. The bill requires the Department of Education to prepare a report on its comprehensive review and provide such a report to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health, the Secretary of Education, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction no later than November 1, 2021.

A Superintendent’s Email, distributed on August 23, 2021, provided information for a 23-question survey to be completed by all school divisions and access to an online survey application. Survey questions were designed to elicit responses addressing the legislative requirement and are provided in Appendix A.

Of the 132 school divisions in the Commonwealth, 127 or 96 percent of school divisions participated in the survey. This report provides a summary of the findings within the schoolwide computer science implementation survey and student enrollment data of computer science courses within the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide a comprehensive review.