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January 13, 2020
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JP O'Hare

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Board of Regents Acts to Conditionally Approve First Ever Learning Standards for Computer Science and Digital Fluency

The Board of the Regents today acted to conditionally approve New York State’s first ever Learning Standards for Computer Science and Digital Fluency. The State Education Department conducted a collaborative process over a fifteen-month period that included a group of statewide experts on computer science and educational technology to assist in creating computer science and digital fluency standards that best meet the needs of students across New York State. Today, the standards were conditionally approved by the Board of Regents P-12 Committee. The additional time will allow for the Department to engage with early learning experts to ensure the K-2 standards are developmentally appropriate. The standards will be returned to the Board later this year for final adoption.

“We know that computer science and STEM fields are the jobs of the future, so it’s important that we invest in our children and provide them with access to training in these areas to ensure that all of New York’s students are prepared to compete for 21st century jobs,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa.  “As the Board of Regents and the Department work to ensure that all students have access to a high-quality education, it’s critical that a comprehensive computer science curriculum is available to our students. Further work to ensure the standards are developmentally appropriate for our youngest learners will ensure New York’s children are exposed to these vital skills early on.” 

“When we expose New York’s students to the exciting world of computer science and technology early in their school careers, we are encouraging and enabling more of our students to engage in a career path where they can not only compete, but they can flourish,” said State Education Interim Commissioner Shannon Tahoe.  “Throughout the collaborative process of establishing these standards, we listened to valuable input from stakeholders and we will continue to work with our partners across the state as the standards are implemented to ensure they are working for all students. I thank the stakeholders from across the state and the Department staff that guided this valuable endeavor.”

Technology knowledge and skills are vital for full participation in 21st Century life, work, and civic engagement. To comply with a 2018 statute requiring the development of Computer Science Standards, and to fulfil the expectation outlined in the 2010 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 engaged with workgroups of stakeholders to create new Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards.

The New York State K-12 Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards are organized into five Concepts: Impacts of Computing, Computational Thinking, Networks and Systems Design, Cybersecurity, and Digital Literacy.

Each Concept contains two or more Sub-Concepts.  Within the Sub-Concepts are a number of standards.  The standards are grouped into grade-bands:  K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.  Students are expected to master the standards by the end of the last year of the grade band.

Collaborative Process

In October 2018, an Authoring Workgroup and Review Panel were formed to ensure representation from all regions and community types.  From October 2018 through March 2019, the Authoring Workgroup worked to produce a first draft of the new standards.  In April 2019, the Authoring Workgroup members cross-reviewed standards written by colleagues and provided feedback to the Department. 

The Department published the draft standards to solicit broad stakeholder feedback and received more than 400 survey responses.  NYSED convened a workgroup to address the stakeholder feedback priorities and revise the standards accordingly.  New York State educators and stakeholders were integral in the process to develop high-quality and rigorous new Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards.

In an effort to ensure the new standards meet the needs of all students and align to the Board of Regents’ goal that every child has equitable access to high-quality educational opportunities, NYSED staff have identified the following next steps:

  • Engage further with early learning experts to ensure the K-2 grade band standards are developmentally appropriate, and that both the clarifying statements and provided examples are helpful and relevant to K-2 teachers.
  • Return to the Board of Regents for final adoption of the standards in spring 2020.
  • Begin to develop resources and guidance to aid the field in implementing the standards in accordance with the following proposed implementation timeline.

Timetable for Roll-out and Implementation

Upon approval by the Board of Regents, the projected timeline for implementation of the new Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards allows for ample time for teachers to become familiar with the new standards.  The timetable is as follows:

Timetable for Roll-out and Implementation
Dates Phase Activities

Adoption – Aug. 2021


Roll-out and building awareness of the new standards and timeline for implementation

Sept. 2021 – Aug. 2023


Focus on curriculum development, resource acquisition, professional development

Sept. 2023 – Aug. 2024

Year 1 Implementation

All credit-bearing Computer Science courses will be aligned with NYS CS&DF Standards

September 2024

Full Implementation

CS&DF Standards implemented in all grade bands K-12


For additional information on the new standards, please see the Department’s Computer Science and Digital Fluency website.