Frequently Asked Questions
The following are Frequently Asked Questions related to the new NYS K12 Computer Science and Digital Fluency Learning Standards.
What are learning standards?
- Learning Standards are defined as the knowledge, skills, and understandings students should know and demonstrate as a result of skilled instruction.
Why is New York State implementing Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards?
- Technology knowledge and skills are vital for full participation in 21st Century life. To comply with a 2018 law requiring the development of Computer Science Standards, and to fulfil the expectation outlined in the 2010 University of the State of NY (USNY) Statewide Technology Plan that “students, teachers, and leaders will have clear standards for what students should know and be able to do with technology,” the Department has engaged with workgroups of stakeholders to create new Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards.
How were these standards developed?
- In October 2018, NYSED formed an Authoring Workgroup and Review Panels with representation from all NYS regions, and stakeholder groups, including teachers; administrators; business and industry experts; parents; representatives from higher education, BOCES, Big 4 school districts, the NYC Department of Education; and members of various professional organizations. NYSED also formed an Executive Standards Committee, comprised of state and national experts and leaders to provide final recommendations to NYSED senior leadership. Draft standards were published to solicit broad stakeholder feedback in the Fall of 2019. In January 2020, the New York State Board of Regents granted the draft NYS K-12 Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards conditional approval, with the expectation that NYSED engage further with early learning experts to ensure the K-2 grade bands were developmentally appropriate. The Early Learning Review Committee was formed and held review and revision sessions during the Spring and Summer of 2020. Final standards were approved by the Board of Regents at the December 2020 Regents meeting.
Will the Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards have to be integrated into core areas, or will they be required to be taught as a stand-alone course?
- The Standards were crafted to allow for flexibility when delivering instruction. Some schools may wish to teach separate computer science classes, particularly in the higher-grade bands when the content becomes more focused; others may integrate the standards into other subject areas. Decisions on requirements for computer science courses will be made during the Board of Regents’ Graduation Measures Review. Please see the Graduation Requirements/Course Credit section of this FAQ page for more information.
What is the expectation for the instruction of the Computer Science Standards of Learning at the elementary level?
- Schools must determine locally how to provide instruction in the Standards. This can be accomplished by integrating the Standards into other subject areas and/or by developing stand-alone computer science course(s).
Are the Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards broken down into grade level standards?
- The Standards are banded by grade level: Grades K-1, 2-3, 4-6, 7-8, and 9-12. This decision was made upon recommendation from stakeholders, who advocated that banding the standards would allow for the greatest flexibility in implementation. Instruction in the standards must be implemented so as to allow students to achieve the applicable standards by the end of the band.
When are schools expected to begin teaching to the Computer Science Digital Fluency Standards?
- The CS&DF standards will be rolled out incrementally over the next 4 years. Please see the Roll-out and Implementation Timeline.
What does full implementation mean? How will a school or district determine if they have met full implementation?
- Full implementation is ensuring that all Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards are being taught to allow for students to achieve the standards by the end of each grade band.
Will Computer Science be considered an elective at the High School level?
- Currently courses in computer science can be counted either as elective credit or as the third unit of credit in Math or Science. See “Using Courses in Computer Science to Meet the Requirements for a Regents or Local Diploma,” issued in 2014.
Will Computer Science be a graduation requirement?
- The New York State Board of Regents have committed to a review of New York State graduation measures, which will involve stakeholder meetings and input. Any changes to graduation requirements will be considered as a part of this process. For the latest information, please visit the NYSED Graduation Measures website.
What are the regulations outlining the program requirements for Computer Science and Digital Fluency instruction?
- The Department anticipates bringing recommendations to the Board of Regents for changes to Part 100 Program Requirements in Fall 2021.
Will there be a Regents Examination developed in Computer Science?
- Currently there is no plan to create a Regents Examination in Computer Science. Decisions regarding credit and assessment requirements for graduation will be considered as a result of the Board of Regents’ Graduation Measures initiative. Please see the Graduation Requirements/Course Credit section of this FAQ page for more information.
What resources and training will be made available to teachers?
- NYSED is currently and will continue to partner with stakeholder groups to creating guiding documents and materials to assist with implementation. As new resources are developed, they will be made available on the Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards section of the Office of Curriculum and Instruction’s website.
Is there a Computer Science certification?
- Yes. The Board of Regents approved a new certification area and tenure area in the classroom teaching service for computer science (K-12) at the March 2018 meeting.
Do current, NYS certified teachers have to get the Computer Science certification or the Statement of Continuing Eligibility to teach computer science at the K-6 level?
- Not necessarily. Teachers with a NYS certification to teach grades K-6 can teach the CS&DF Learning Standards by integrating computer science and digital literacy lessons and units within their regular teaching assignment. For example, an elementary teacher may teach lessons on computational thinking, participate in “Hour of Code,” utilize a Robot Kit from a BOCES as a learning activity, or incorporate a computer science center into their center rotation, etc., without the certification.
Do teachers have to get the Computer Science certification to teach computer science at the 7-12 level?
- Not necessarily. Middle school and high school teachers can teach lessons or units on computer science within another course, such as teaching data modeling in science class. Teachers can also incorporate the new Computer Science and Digital Fluency standards into interdisciplinary units. For instance, an ELA teacher, library media specialist, or social studies teacher may incorporate some of the standards into a unit on media literacy. The situation is different for teachers who teach computer science courses. After Sept 1, 2023, the certifications eligible to teach computer science courses will change. There will be cases where a teacher who has been teaching a computer science course will need to either have the new computer science certification or apply for the Statement of Continued Eligibility (SOCE). The Computer Science SOCE application will be available in TEACH in 2022. More information on the certification and SOCE can be found in the March 2018 Regents Item, as well as on the Computer Science Statement of Continued Eligibility (SOCE) webpage.
How can I apply for a Computer Science certification?
- Application information will be posted on NYSED's Office of Teaching Initiatives website when it is available.
How can I apply for the Statement of Continued Eligibility to continue to teach computer science after September 1, 2023?
- Application information is posted on the NYSED's Office of Teaching Initiatives website.
Who should I contact if I have questions about Certification?
- Please contact the Office of Teaching Initiatives for questions pertaining to the Computer Science Teaching Certificate.