Update: If you missed the 1/31 deadline, the program running this solicitation has said they will accept comments through Feb. 28. After 1/31, you must submit comments to: pcast2010comments@nitrd.gov

Cameron Wilson  of the ACM has a new blog post (Let the Feds Know Your Thoughts on K-12 Computer Science Education | blog@CACM | Communications of the ACM) about the Federal government actually soliciting input on K-12 Computer Science education. ACM and CSTA as well as some private actors through Computing in the Core has been pushing for more understanding of computer science education for a while. Now it looks like there is a good opportunity for public comment.

Prompted by a report External Link from the President’s top science advisors, The Networking and Information and Technology Research and Development Program (NITRD) asked three sets of big and open-ended questions:

“The Presidents Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report calls for fundamental changes in K-12 STEM education in the United States, including the incorporation of computer science (CS) as an essential component.

  • What CS concepts are important to effective elementary, secondary, and post-secondary curricula? Among these concepts, which are commonly found in curricula today? Which are missing?
  • What do teachers need (including preparation and training, tools, and resources) to be able to deliver CS education effectively?
  • What factors are important in promoting student interest in CS?”

This is a great opportunity for educators from the computing community that work on K-12 CS education issues, curriculum, instruction or generally anything in the subject. It isn’t often that the community gets asked for advice on these issues. We should take advantage by filing comments on their questions External Link.

Note that Microsoft is involved with both Computing in the Core and a sponsor of the Computer Science Teachers Association.