By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Gov. Kay Ivey, as part of Computer Science Education Week 2017, announced she is joining the Governors’ Partnership for K-12 Computer Science. The governor announced that creating opportunities for computer science education in Alabama is a pillar of her “Strong Start, Strong Finish” education initiative, and this Partnership furthers that commitment.
“Today, as we kick off Computer Science Education Week 2017, I’m pleased to partner with other governors around the country through the Governors’ Partnership for K-12 Computer Science,” Ivey said. “I am excited to lead the efforts to expand access to computer science education for all students in Alabama. We must continue working to provide opportunities so that students can have a running start toward the high-demand jobs of today. We live in a technology-driven world so I want to ensure our educational system teaches in a technology-driven way. Joining the Governors’ Partnership is a key step forward in paving the way for my ‘Strong Start, Strong Finish’ education initiative.”
The Governors’ Partnership for K-12 Computer Science is a group of bipartisan state leaders committed to advancing policy and funding to expand access to, and close the opportunity gap in computer science education. Ivey is joining the 13 governors who are currently part of this national coalition, and by joining the Partnership she recognizes the importance of working collaboratively with other state leaders to improve computer science education in Alabama and across the entire country. Members of the Governors’ Partnership for K-12 Computer Science will help in developing rigorous K-12 computer science standards, funding professional learning for K-12 computer science teachers and putting computer science in every high school in the state.
Ivey prioritizes the need for computer science education through her “Strong Start, Strong Finish” initiative. Ivey said that today in Alabama, there are more than 4,600 unfilled jobs in computer science paying an average salary of $82,000 per year. Ivey, through “Strong Start, Strong Finish,” emphasizes that Alabama’s students must receive computer science education and STEM fields in middle and high school. Providing a basis for and creating more opportunities for computer science education will allow students to be better prepared for the jobs of today.
Computer Science Education Week highlights the crucial role that computer science has in transforming society and how computer science enables innovation and creates economic opportunities. Each year during Computer Science Education Week, The Hour of Code takes place. This annual initiative introduces millions of students worldwide to computer science to inspire interest and confidence in this field.
The governor is also encouraging students, teachers and schools across Alabama to share about their participation in Hour of Code on Twitter.
Ivey has stressed the importance of getting students getting into some sort of a path either toward college or into a 2 year technical program upon graduating from high school. Ivey has said that by 2020 over 60 percent of the Alabama workforce is going to need a two year post graduation technical education, an associates degree, a four year degree, or even a Phd. Presently, only 37 percent of the Alabama workforce has that. There are over 450,000 adult Alabamians that don’t even have a high school diploma or equivalency. There is a growing problem with Alabama employers being unable to find workers with the skills to do the jobs that they have available.