May 30

Arkansas calls on states to advance computer science education

STEMx member state Arkansas will host key advocates for computer science in just two weeks. The summit builds on years of advances in computer science education in the state.

Last June, we talked to Anthony Owen, Arkansas’s State Director of Computer Science: Governor, teachers and others back Arkansas’s computer science push . Then, he told us “Arkansas is leading the nation in K-12 CS education.” Since then, the state’s continued to make strides. In November, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced enrollment in computer science classes in schools had jumped by 30% in just one year .

Thanks to support from Battelle, STEMx members will have a special opportunity to join the upcoming Arkansas STEM summit. Soon after, we’ll post an update here with some of our members reflections on the event. Below, we’ve included the formal announcement from Governor Hutchinson about the event:

LITTLE ROCK –  Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today that his office will host the first-ever National Computer Science Summit for State Leaders in Arkansas on June 10 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

This invitation-only event will include representatives from 26 states, including Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, and other national and international leaders in the field of computer-science education for discussion of issues such as academic standards, teacher training, budgets, and development of computer-science education policy.

“This summit is the logical next step for Arkansas as we continue to be a national leader in computer-science education,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This summit will give us direct access to national leaders in the field, and it will allow them to see in person the advances we are making and to meet the people who are making this happen.”

From his first months in office, Governor Hutchinson has promoted the expansion of computer-science education, starting with his signature on Arkansas Act 187, which required all the state’s public and charter high schools to offer a course in computer coding. The state has continued to broaden access to students K-12.

The summit will include the keynote by Hadi Partovi, founder and CEO of; and a panel discussion led by the founder of Learning Blade, Sheila Boyington, with Governor Hutchinson, Commissioner of Education Johnny Key, and state director of computer science Anthony Owen; and panel discussions with other state leaders, commissioners of education, and industry leaders.

Funding for this event is being provided by donations from Battelle and Microsoft in addition to the Arkansas Department of Education Office of Computer Science.

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