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June 12, 2021
Last year, the Wyoming Legislature passed a large package of laws to revitalize rural areas. This package included a mandate that every school in the state provide mandatory computer science courses for every grade K-12. This new mandate is part of the Wyoming Legislature’s efforts to wean the state’s economy off of its reliance on the ups and downs of the energy market. It also is part of a longer term plan to revitalize the state’s rural regions. The mandate was also passed in an effort to keep young people in Wyoming instead of leaving for better jobs. These sorts of efforts have been applauded by both Democrats and Republicans. ~
However, there have been some issues with Wyoming’s roll-out of the new policy. There aren’t many teachers in the state who are qualified or even have any experience with computer science, leaving some districts struggling to fulfill the mandate. Many teachers have had to take an online course on their own time to learn the content. Many rural schools also don’t have enough funding from the State or Federal governments to roll-out new computer science effectively, leaving them to find ways to fulfill their obligation. ~
This, however, could be a bridge into the future, for many industries are digitizing and slowly focusing more and more on software and computers. Many states that rely on big industries of the twentieth century have been falling behind in the economy and their citizens have been left behind. For some students, this program will ignite a curiosity and passion for computer science that might carry into productive careers and may also contribute to the revitalization of present and future state and national .state and national economies. ~
This is Fact Based America. WE have the FACTS. YOU have the OPINIONS. What do you think about mandatory computer science education? Do you think there is a way in which Wyoming and states in the future could most effectively implement such a mandate?