HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.R. NO.

117

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE RESOLUTION

 

 

REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE ON THE STATUS OF ACHIEVING ACT 51, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018, MANDATES FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, computer science is a dynamic, rapidly-growing field that touches almost every aspect of modern life; and

 

WHEREAS, computing-based occupations make up more than two-thirds of all projected new jobs in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields; and

 

WHEREAS, computer science jobs are becoming more lucrative and in demand, offering a national median wage of $82,860 versus $37,040 for all other jobs; and

 

WHEREAS, in Hawaii, there are nearly one thousand eight hundred open computing jobs, but only one hundred fifty five students who graduated with a computer science degree in school year 2019-2020; and

 

WHEREAS, starting computer science education early in elementary school has been shown to be beneficial to students for creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving and maintains students' motivation to continue their interest in computer science in future years; and

 

WHEREAS, in 2017, recognizing the potential for computer science in the State, the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) formed a Computer Science Work Group charged with gathering feedback from educators and stakeholders on proposed standards and on developing a DOE Computer Science Action Plan; and

 

WHEREAS, the Computer Science Action Plan addresses six key areas: (1) Current Landscape and Strategic Goals, (2) Equity, (3) Teacher Pipeline, (4) Curriculum and Courses, (5) Outreach, and (6) Funding; and

WHEREAS, the Computer Science Action Plan also includes start and end dates of completion for each goal and a progress checklist; and

 

WHEREAS, progress on the Computer Science Action Plan is lacking, with many goals not completed after the target date of completion has passed; and

 

WHEREAS, on June 21, 2018, in another effort to promote computer science education, Governor David Ige signed Act 51, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018, (Act 51) into law, which provided the DOE with $500,000 for fiscal year 2018-2019 to develop and implement a statewide computer science curricula plan for public school students in kindergarten through twelfth grade and contract for teacher development programs; and

 

WHEREAS, Act 51 also mandated the DOE to ensure that each public high school offers at least one computer science course during each school year beginning in the 2021-2022 school year; and

 

WHEREAS, the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design (OCID) within the DOE is tasked with carrying out the mandates of Act 51; and

 

WHEREAS, it is unclear if OCID is implementing the Computer Science Action Plan or if they have another plan they created to carry out Act 51's mandates; and

 

WHEREAS, the manner in which the DOE expended the $500,000 appropriation is unclear and this body has an interest in whether the OCID spent the funds to develop a computer science curricula plan, offer computer science classes, and contract for teacher development programs as required pursuant to Act 51; and

 

WHEREAS, OCID does not have current statistics about how many public high schools across the State are offering computer science related course; and

WHEREAS, there are misconceptions about the definition of what a computer science class is, which may skew the data about how many schools are offering a computer science program; and

 

WHEREAS, the offering of an online course is not sufficient to meet Act 51's mandate of at least one computer science course being offered in each public high school during each school year by 2021-2022 school year; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2020, that the Department of Education is requested to submit a report to the Legislature on the status of meeting Act 51's mandates regarding computer science education, including any recommendations and proposed legislation; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the DOE is requested to include in its report:

 

(1) Information on any plan the DOE is implementing to carry out each of Act 51's mandates, including but not limited to:

 

(A) A draft or finalized copy of a statewide computer science curricula plan for public school students in kindergarten through twelfth grade;

 

(B) A list of the 2021-2022 computer science courses offered in each public high school, including a description of each class, detailed copy of each class syllabus, and outline of the curriculum for each class;

 

(C) A list of the names of the teachers that will be teaching a computer science course at each public high school in the 2021-2022 school year; and

 

(D) A report on the contracts for computer science teacher development programs, including the name of the entity or entities that the DOE will contract with to develop and implement computer science courses;

 

(2) Any barriers preventing the DOE from implementing a plan to comply with Act 51;

 

(3) Recommendations on ways to overcome any such barriers; and

 

(4) An accounting of the $500,000 appropriated under Act 51; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the DOE is requested to submit its report to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2021; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Chairperson of the Board of Education, Superintendent of Education, Interim Assistant Superintendent of the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design, and each public high school principal in the State.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:

DOE; Computer Science; ACT 51; Workforce