White House Recognizes PLTW as Partner in Computer Science for All Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 14, 2016) – The White House on Wednesday recognized Project Lead The Way (PLTW) for its efforts to increase access to computer science education for students and teachers across the country. 

“We have to make sure all our kids are equipped for the jobs of the future – which means not just being able to work with computers, but developing the analytical and coding skills to power our innovation economy,” said President Obama in a statement for the Summit on Computer Science for All, an event held to mark the progress on expanding CS education since his call to action earlier this year. “In the new economy, computer science isn’t an optional skill – it’s a basic skill, right along with the three ‘Rs.”

PLTW is committed to CS education at all levels in grades K-12

Through PLTW Launch, students in grades K-5 have access to six CS modules aligned to standards developed by the Computer Science Teachers Association. Throughout these six, 10-hour modules, students move from the basics of sequencing and logic to programming and animation, all the while learning to think critically and computationally. 

In grades 6-8, PLTW offers two nine-week Introduction to Computer Science units, and then three full-year courses at the high school level: Introduction to Computer Science; Computer Science Principles, which is endorsed by the College Board; and Computer Science A, which is aligned to the AP CSA framework. A fourth full-year course, Cybersecurity, is in development.

Since the White House launched the Computer Science for All initiative in February, PLTW, in partnership with its university partners, has trained an additional 13,500 K-12 teachers to teach PLTW’s computer science courses, including more than 1,250 middle school and high school teachers this summer.

During the White House event, PLTW announced that it is taking its CS professional development commitment to the next level. Beginning this fall, PLTW is launching a new professional development approach, Online Core Training, to expand teachers’ access to CS training. 

“Computer science education is critical for our students. We know that companies need employees with strong technical skills, yet only 25 percent of U.S. high schools, and far fewer middle and elementary schools, are offering CS education,” said Bryan Kind, PLTW vice president of programs. “We are committed to providing every student with access to quality computer science education, and this starts with quality teacher training. We’re excited to launch this new classroom-embedded experience that provides teachers with greater options and increased flexibility.”

Through PLTW’s Online Core Training, teachers will take part in a collaborative, virtual face-to-face experience as they are actively teaching the course to their students. The pairing of professional development with their teaching of the course allows for just-in-time learning and the ability to create and implement solutions in their classrooms. Teachers taking part in Online Core Training will benefit from real-time coaching by experienced PLTW CS Master Teachers and a cohort of peers from across the U.S. Online Core Training allows PLTW to reach teachers in remote areas of the country, as well as in states like Alaska and Hawaii, where travel is often expensive. PLTW piloted the Online Core Training in 2015.

For more information on the White House’s Summit on Computer Science for All, and the full list of partners and commitments, click here

About PLTW
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning. More than 9,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit pltw.org.

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Media Contacts: Project Lead The Way
Jennifer Cahill
[email protected] or (317) 669-0871