If the Indiana Chamber has its way, all Indiana high school students will be required to study computer science to graduate. The proposal is part of the business organization's legislative priorities for 2018.
But before legislators jump on board, they should consult educators to determine what's now available and who is prepared to teach. They also should be prepared to dip into the state's budget surplus to pay for courses and qualified teachers.
The state's top educator isn't fully on board. Holly Stachler, spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Education, said Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick believes computer science courses should be available to all Indiana students, but not necessarily a requirement.
McCormick's own legislative priorities call for identifying best practices and research in key areas, including computer science.
Tracy Williams, chief academic officer for Fort Wayne Community Schools, noted the state's new science standards incorporate computer science, but she expressed concern about adding another graduation requirement or an unfunded mandate.