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AAC Setting the pace in Computer Science Education


what’s down the road. To be exact, the number of Arkansas high school students taking at least one computer science course is 10,450. Tat is an increase of six-and-a-half percent over the last school year and nearly 850 percent increase over the 1,100 students who were enrolled six years ago. We showed improvement in other areas as well. For the first time in Arkansas, the percentage of African American students who are taking a computer science class exceeds the percentage of all African American students enrolled in Arkansas high schools. Also for the first time, the percent- age of all minority students taking a high school computer science course exceeds the percentage of all minority students enrolled in our high schools. In addition, we continue to show tremendous growth in the number of girls who are taking computer science. When we started this initiative, 223 girls were enrolled in a com- puter science class. Tis year, the Arkansas Department of Education reports that the number has jumped to 3,135. Tat is a 1,300 percent increase over 2014. Many publications and tech organizations, such as Code. org, have recognized Arkansas as a leader in computer science education. But we can’t rest on our success, which is why


T


his year for the first time, enrollment in com- puter science courses topped 10,000, the sixth straight year enrollment has increased, and today I’d like to talk about what’s happening and


I’m working with the Arkansas General Assembly to open up more opportunities for our young people. Last year, I created the Computer Science and Cyberse- curity Task Force, and one of its recommendations is to require a computer science course to be taken for graduation. I am grateful to Senator Jane English for sponsoring this legislation and recognizing its importance. And, by the school year 2022- 2023, every high school in the state must employ at least one teacher who is certified to teach computer science. When we became the first state in the nation to require all high schools to teach computer science, our goal was to increase enrollment to 7,500 by the 2019-2020 school year. We surpassed that goal a year early. Tis year, even with CO- VID-19, we topped over 10,000. We have done that because educators and students embraced the initiative. We have enhanced our education system, strengthened our workforce, and we are continuing to set the pace.


Hon. ASA


HuTCHINSON Governor of Arkansas


Asa Hutchinson


Te Honorable Asa Hutchinson Governor of Arkansas


Governor speaks to Good Roads Foundation about Issue 1


Gov. Asa Hutchinson threw his support this fall behind a state constitutional amendment that proposed continuing a temporary one-half-percent sales tax for highways and roads. He was a guest speaker at the September meeting of the Good Roads Foundation, and he outlined a plan to promote the amendment, which appeared as Issue 1 on the November ballot, across the state. That plan included flying across the state to Jonesboro, Fort Smith, Northwest Arkansas, El Dorado, and Little Rock on Oct. 19, the first day of early voting. Voters approved the amendment on Nov. 3.


— Photo by Christy L. Smith COUNTY LINES, FALL 2020 11


FROM THE GOVERNOR


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