Rishi appointed on Cal Computer Education Panel

Councilmember Rishi Kumar
Councilmember Rishi Kumar

SARATOGA, CA: On January 11 of this year, Councilmember Rishi Kumar was selected to serve on the Computer Science Strategic Implementation Advisory Panel, a panel consisting of computer science experts whose goal is to develop a computer science curriculum for K-12 students throughout California.

“This is near and dear to my heart and something I am so excited about. Honored to receive this letter from California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin De Leon the chair of the California Senate Rules Committee, with an appointment to the Computer Science Strategic Implementation Advisory Panel.

The objective of this panel is to submit a computer strategic implementation plan to the Department of Education, the State Board of Education and the Legislature that includes at least the following: Broadening the pool of teachers to teach Computer Science, defining computer science education principles that meet the needs of pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12 and ensuring that all pupils have access to quality computer science courses,” said Rishi Kumar

California Senator Jim Beall congratulated Kumar for the position, “Congratulations to my good friend, Saratoga City Councilmember Rishi Kumar, who was appointed by the state Senate to the Computer Science Strategic Implementation Advisory Panel. The panel will draft recommendations to broaden the pool of computer science teachers and ensure all students have access to quality computer science courses.” Rishi has had extensive experience in the technology world, with a 15 year span at IBM and as general manager at Imaginea Technologies.

Rishi launched the Silicon Valley Robotics Club in 2013 that helps students with Lego Robotics concepts and mentors these students towards learning and success in the annual Lego Robotics competition. Later, he helped mentor the Silicon Valley Coders Club, a student run initiative that fosters technological and coding skills in middle school and high school aged students and provides them with a semester long learning on launching startups and developing products.

California, known to be the technological heart of the Silicon Valley, has been one of the first states to begin working towards making quality computer science education available for all of its students. The recently passed Assembly Bill No. 2329, also called the Computer science strategic implementation plan, required the panel of 23 computer science experts to be created before September 1, 2017.

The bill’s implementation followed a joint effort by the Association for Computing Machinery, Computer Science Teachers Association, Cyber Innovation Center, National Math and Science Initiative, and code.org to give every student access to a quality computer science education. Together, these organizations created a framework to establish K-12 computer science educational standards to be implemented across the nation.

In 2016, Former President Obama presented a program called Computer Science for All which provided $4 billion of funding for states and $100 million to school districts to strengthen computer science programs. Individual states are also doing their part in strengthening their computer science curriculum. According to EdSurge, an organization that reports on educational trends, the Chicago public school district was the first in the nation to announce a plan to make computer science a core K-12 program in 2013, starting a wave of computer science programs in various districts across the nation.

In 2015, Arkansas announced a requirement that all high schools offer at least three CS classes, while in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to give all New York City public school students access to computer science courses by 2025. In San Francisco, 12 middle schools are part of a pilot program developing computer science education for K-12 students from the San Francisco Unified School District. All of these programs are sure to increase computer science education in America, bolstering our student’s futures.

This curriculum, once rolled out in the state of California is sure to offer an option for every child of California to pursue a tech career.

Giulia Corno

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