ACM Hails New "Every Student Succeeds" Law
December 11, 2015
ACM praised the enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law as an important and historic step forward for K-12 education in the United States. The new law recognizes that computer science is a fundamental academic subject, along with reading and writing, vital to a “well-rounded” education in the 21st century. The increased emphasis on providing early and ongoing exposure to computer science and connecting it as part of learning in other curriculum areas will bring long-lasting benefits for our workforce, economy, and society.
The language of the new law references computer science within its STEM provisions, including its definition of STEM specialty schools. ESSA will also open up new avenues for the training and professional development of computer science education teachers.
ACM CEO Bobby Schnabel welcomed the bill as an important step toward mainstream acceptance of computer science as a core subject across US primary and secondary schools. ACM Education Policy Committee Chair Jeffrey Forbes added that the new law takes steps in the direction of fostering greater access to computer science education.
With bipartisan support, the bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 359 to 64 and the Senate by a vote of 85 to 12. President Obama signed the bill into law on December 10.