State Legislative Bodies Advance Computer Science and Technology bills for High School Graduation and new Workforce STEM Requirements

NASHVILLE, TN—Tennessee’s General Assembly reconvened January 11, 2022 and on April 14, 2022 the Tennessee Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 2406 (SB 2406) requiring their Department of Education (DOE) to adopt standards for computer science education by the 2023-2024 school year. Under the new bill, by the 2024-2025 school year all high school students in Tennessee would be required to take a full year of computer science education in order to graduate and middle schoolers would have to take at least one computer science course.

CodeCrew Code School helps connect families and young adults in Memphis, TN.
Photo courtesy: CodeCrew Memphis

SB 2406 and its companion bill in the Tennessee House of Representatives, HB 2153, stipulates Tennessee [DOE] will provide in-person and online computer science courses for public school students at no charge by the start of the 2023-24 school year. To this end, DOE would also provide a computer science education professional development program at no cost to educators. Additionally, SB 2406/HB 2153 creates new computer science requirements and stronger academic standards for K-12 students with a requirement Tennessee schools implement these standards beginning in the 2024-25 school year when enacted.

BDPA Alumni and BDPA Memphis Chapter Student Members with (L-R) Bryce Ellis, Naim Hakeem, Kareem Dasilva, Judy Lane, Melaati Jayah, Jada Thorium Mykaila Johnson. Photo: BDPA Memphis

Nebraska Advances High School Computer Science and Technology Bill

Nebraska lawmakers also approved a bill last month to ensure students receive computer science and technology education prior to high school graduation. Introduced by Senator Terrell McKinney of Omaha, LB 1112 would require every public school district in Nebraska to include computer science and technology education within legacy instructional programs of its elementary and middle schools beginning in school year 2024-25.

Nebraska’s students would be required to complete at least one five-credit high school course in computer science and technology prior to graduation. These courses can be provided across traditional in-person classroom settings or blended learning environments.

Upskilling JROTC with STEM Education and Cybersecurity Training for Workforce Pipelines  

JROTC Cadets from Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. attending BDPA-DC’s annual Community Technology Awards. BDPA photo © 2019 by Roy Lewis

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2022, Public Law 117-81, authorized $187.6 million and modifies a grant program supporting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in JROTC to include quantum information sciences. NDAA 2022 also requires the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) to submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate (SASC) and the House of Representatives (HASC) a briefing on the status of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs of each Armed Force. SECDEF’s briefing must include the following:

(1) an assessment of the current usage of the program, including the number of individuals enrolled in the program, the demographic information of individuals enrolled in the program, and the number of units established under the program

(2) a description of the efforts of the Armed Forces to meet current enrollment targets for the program

(3) If applicable, an explanation of the reasons such enrollment targets have not been met
(4) a description of any obstacles preventing the Armed Forces from meeting such enrollment targets

(5) a comparison of the potential benefits and drawbacks of expanding the program; and

(6) a description of program-wide diversity and inclusion recruitment and retention efforts

Tech Industry Certifications Before High School Graduation

In Virginia, the commonwealth’s  Board of Education has approved many exams for the purpose of awarding verified credit, specifically designated as “Student-Selected Verified Credit.” In Fairfax County, just outside of our Nation’s Capital, many  Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses prepare students for industry certification opportunities. Students who desire this professional credential must pass an industry-developed, industry evaluated exam at the end of the CTE course. Earning an industry credential demonstrates professional skill levels students and JROTC cadets have achieved while providing industry-recognized proof that students are prepared for career-related responsibilities or post-secondary education or training.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) provides a broad range of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) opportunities and academic opportunities that support pathways to STEAM jobs and careers. In Fairfax County, and across the National Capital Region, the greatest job growth continues to come largely from STEAM-related professions.

Sources: Tennessee and Nebraska General Assemblies; FCPS; Code Crews; BDPA Memphis; and BDPA-DC. Cover photo credit: Charlie Perkins, National BDPA. BDPA Southern Minnesota Coding Team shown during National BDPA’s annual High School Computer Competition (HSCC).

FCEDA

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Tech juggernauts are returning to Capitol Hill for a new round of hearings

WASHINGTON — Now under attack by POTUS, meet the new wolves of ‘K Street’.

Ahead of tech executives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter heading to more hearings in front of the U.S. Senate, in this video Loup Ventures’ Gene Munster discusses what he expects to hear from these powerful companies.

“Here’s the CODE…”

What are their new agenda items, hidden or otherwise? Legacy policies have eroded, our data and privacy are next to non-existent, artificial intelligence (Ai), social media, and search engine optimization (SEO) algorithms (“algos“) matter—regulations are inevitable.

M&A: A merger or an acquisition? How soon could artificial intelligence and machine learning subsume legislative processes and ‘become one’ with Federal, State, and Local lawmakers when governing bodies can no longer fully embrace software-defined  ecosystems, cybersecurity challenges,  nor keep pace with new technologies?  ‘Swiping left‘ or ‘swiping right‘ for proposals, bills, and votes in near real-time are distinct possibilities with human-in-the-loop machine learning.

Bail-Out: Oversight committees and regulatory demands for discriminatory algorithms, pleas for open source software, or mandatory transparency for pseudo-code or source code will not bode very well for search engine and social media business models.

When industry’s “Secret Sauce” no longer remains secret nor immune from new laws and regulations, alternative value propositions will respectfully be requested from lawmakers and appropriators by lobbyists, stakeholders and shareholders in order for powerful applications and algorithms to preserve industrial dominance across all industry sectors.

Powerful trends toward digital transformation, end-user empowerment, and global policies such as the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are just the beginning.

— Sources: CNBC and BDPA Washington

PTTV | Popular Technology TV

Cyber ROTC

The House Passes Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Policy Bill

WASHINGTON — The House voted on Wednesday,  May 18th, 2016, to add billions to a list of Pentagon weapons programs and training, then signed off on a $583 billion Pentagon budget. The final vote was 277-147.

cap-domeH.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, also calls for the establishment of ROTC Cyber Institutes. Mock wars in cyberspace, new technologies, new challenges, training, and recruiting new talent remain mission priorities.

See Section 562 subtext below.
______________________________

…SEC. 562. ESTABLISHMENT OF ROTC CYBER INSTITUTES AT SENIOR MILITARY COLLEGES.

(a) In General.—Chapter 103 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

usafa-cyber§ 2111c. Senior military colleges: ROTC cyber institutes

“(a) Program Authorized.—The Secretary of Defense may establish cyber institutes at each of the senior military colleges for the purpose of accelerating the development of foundational expertise in critical cyber operational skills for future military and civilian leaders of the armed forces and the Department of Defense, including such leaders of the reserve components.

“(b) Elements.—Each cyber institute established under this section shall include each of the following:

“(1) Training for members of the program who possess cyber operational expertise from beginning through advanced skill levels, including instruction and practical experiences that lead to cyber certifications recognized in the field.

“(2) Training in targeted strategic foreign language proficiency designed to significantly enhance critical cyber operational capabilities and tailored to current and anticipated readiness requirements.

“(3) Training related to mathematical foundations of cryptography and cryptographic theory and practice designed to complement and reinforce cyber education along with the strategic language programs critical to cyber operations.

“(4) Training designed to expand the pool of qualified cyber instructors necessary to support cyber education in regional school systems.

“(c) Partnerships With Department Of Defense And The Armed Forces.—Any cyber institute established under this section may enter into a partnership with any active or reserve component of the armed forces or any agency of the Department of Defense to facilitate the development of critical cyber skills.

“(d) Partnerships With Other Schools.—Any cyber institute established under this section may enter into a partnership with one or more local educational agencies to facilitate the development of critical cyber skills under the program among students attending the elementary and secondary schools of such agencies who may pursue a military career.

“(e) Senior Military Colleges.—The senior military colleges are the senior military colleges in section 2111a(f) of this title.”.

(b) Clerical Amendment.—The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:
“2111c. Senior military colleges: ROTC cyber institutes.” …

— U.S. Air Force Academy photos
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