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KSDE decides computer science now counts as math, science credit

FILE - This May 18, 2021, photo shows a woman typing on a laptop on a train in New Jersey. (AP...
FILE - This May 18, 2021, photo shows a woman typing on a laptop on a train in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)(Jenny Kane | AP)
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 12:48 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - One computer science course can now be exchanged for a math or science credit to count toward graduation for Kansas high schoolers.

The Kansas Department of Education says computer science can now be counted as a core math or science credit toward high school graduation. It said it voted to approve the recommendation on Tuesday, June 8, during its monthly meeting.

Before the decision, KSDE said the state was one of only two states that counted computer science as an elective, but not as a core math, science or other core discipline credit. After its vote, it said local school boards can now substitute one unit of computer science for either a unit of science or math as long as the student meets the math and science concepts required to graduate.

According to KSDE, the state’s graduation requirements include a minimum of 21 credit units, including four English language arts units; three history, government and social studies units; three math units; three science units; one physical education unit; one fine arts unit and six elective course units.

The Department said in February of 2020, the State Board received five recommendations brought by the Computer Science Education Implementation Task Force. It said one of the recommendations included allowing computer science to be counted as a core math or science credit.

According to the Department, a group of members on the task force looked over other states’ policies for examples and lessons and met with math and science consultants for input. It said members learned more about the recommendation at the May board meeting and were scheduled to act on it during its June meeting.

The KSDE said the approval of the recommendation does not change the 21 credit minimum requirement for graduation and does not make computer science a required course for graduation. However, it said it does put an emphasis on the importance of computer science and increases the flexibility for students, counselors and administrators to count computer science as a core credit.

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