Monday, July 8, 2013

HR 2536 Introduced – Cyber Education

As I noted earlier Rep. Brooks (R,IN) introduced HR 2536, the Computer Science Education Act of 2013. This bill would modify some of the definitions in 20 USC 7801, part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

Changed Definitions

Section 3(2) adds the definition of ‘computer science’ as §7801(7):

COMPUTER SCIENCE.—The term ‘computer science’ means the study of computers and algorithmic processes and includes the study of computing principles, computer hardware and software design, computer applications, and the impact of computers on society.

Section 3(3) Revises the definition of ‘core academic subjects’ found in the current §7801(11)

“Core academic subjects – The  term ‘‘core academic subjects’’ means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, geography, and computer science [added]; and”

Section 3(4) Revises a portion of the definition of ‘professional development’ found in the current §7801(34)(A)(i):

“(I)mprove and increase teachers’ knowledge of the academic subjects (including computer science) [added] the teachers teach, and enable teachers to become highly qualified;

Cybersecurity Missing

Sadly there is no mention of cybersecurity in this revision. Simply adding “cybersecurity,’ after “computer applications,” in the definition of ‘computer science’ would help to ensure that security measures would be included in the curricula from the very earliest stages of computer science instruction.

Time and again we have heard computer professionals declaim that part of the current cybersecurity problem was the lack of awareness of cybersecurity measures and their import upon the part of the computer users in organizations. Adding that awareness must take place at all levels of computer science education.

Moving Forward

This is one of those apple pie and motherhood bills that will bring no major objections from anyone in the House and Senate as it costs no specific money and levies no specific requirements on anyone. The only impediment to its passage is the low priority it may have with the leadership so that it will not actually get considered. The best hope of passage is if this gets added to an authorization bill.

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