Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña Celebrate Computer Science Education Week

  • Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 Updated: Thu Apr 19, 2018

Part of national and global effort supported by more than 100,000 educators and 350 partners that encourages schools to celebrate computer science education. New York City’s Computer Science for All initiative will bring high-quality computer science education to every elementary, middle and high school by 2025

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today visited PS 241 in Brooklyn to celebrate Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 5-11), a national and global effort encouraging schools to engage students in computer science (CS) education by teaching an “Hour of Code” or hosting other CS activities and events. Computer Science Education Week seeks to include schools with robust computer science programming, as well as schools that do not yet offer computer science. 339 elementary, middle and high schools across every borough of New York City have signed up to participate this week. 

New York City’s participation in Computer Science Education Week aligns with Computer Science for All (CS4All), a cornerstone initiative in Mayor de Blasio’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda. By 2025, every student will receive computer science education in elementary, middle and high school. CS4All matches private donations with public funds to result in an $81 million public-private partnership to fund this work. 

“New York City is leading the way on K-12 computer science education, and it’s exciting to see so many of our public schools participating in Computer Science Education Week,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Through Computer Science for All, our students gain critical skills that will enrich their learning today, and help them succeed in college and compete in the job market of tomorrow – including in New York City’s growing tech industry.” 

“Computer Science Education Week is a wonderful opportunity for our students to get involved in computer science education, whether it’s writing their first line of code, or working together to create new designs in a hackathon. It represents the work we’re doing across the City through Computer Science for All – expanding access to these important skills to all students, not just those from particular backgrounds or zip codes,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. 

“Through Computer Science for All, the de Blasio administration is creating a new generation of innovators. New York City is the largest school district in the country that will provide computer science education to all students, creating a diverse pipeline of talent for the future. Through this public-private partnership, we are ensuring that New York City students have access to the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century economy,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director, Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships

The 339 schools will offer a range of activities – from high schools with AP Computer Science classes hosting hackathons, to elementary schools that do not yet have formal computer science programming teaching their students an introductory “Hour of Code.” The 339 schools participating include 21 schools in the Bronx, 218 in Brooklyn, 29 in Manhattan, 56 in Queens, and 15 on Staten Island. Participation in Brooklyn is supported by Borough President Eric Adams’s Code Brooklyn initiative, a partner in expanding computer science education and building the professional development, curriculum, community engagement, parent and teacher leaders, and infrastructure to do so. 

This is the first year that Computer Science Education Week is a citywide effort – the DOE has invited schools to participate, and provided them with “Hackpacks” containing teacher guides and materials, student worksheets, and rubrics for hackathons, as well as information on “Hour of Code” resources. Across the world, more than 100,000 educators and 350 partners are supporting Computer Science Education Week, and the White House has recognized New York City’s participation in Computer Science for All along with the work of districts and organizations across the nation. 

“Computer Science for All is an imperative for the educational and economic future of our city, providing young people with the critical thinking and problem solving skills that are essential to thrive in the global marketplace,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “My administration has prioritized the needs associated with teaching this important curriculum through Code Brooklyn, an initiative with the mission to give every public school student in our borough the opportunity of learning how to code. I am pleased that our advocacy and outreach has resulted in hundreds of schools participating in Hour of Code, and I am proud that our capital investments of more than $40 million to date have helped STEM education truly blossom in classrooms from Bay Ridge to Brownsville. I am committed to doing all I can in partnership with the de Blasio administration to ensure coding and computer science education is first-rate for every Brooklyn child, including an ongoing focus on securing both the technological infrastructure and teacher resources necessary for this initiative to be successful.” 

“As we expand Computer Science for All to reach every single student, Computer Science Education Week helps us build momentum for that great work. This week, schools will engage with new and innovative ways of learning for students and teachers. Students will collaborate on and participate in computer science activities that will enable them to become better thinkers, problem-solvers, creators, leaders, and, ultimately, develop a deep love of learning,” said Phil Weinberg, Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning

This school year, 246 elementary, middle, and high schools across the City are participating in Computer Science for All – through the AP Computer Science Principles course, the Software Engineering Program (SEP), SEP Jr., or the STEM Institute CS Track. More than 450 teachers are receiving rigorous training to bring computer science instruction to their schools. Computer Science for All gives students the computational thinking, problem solving and critical thinking skills necessary for college and professional success. Through the implementation of this ten-year initiative, New York City will be the largest school district in the country to provide computer science education to all students, particularly populations underrepresented in tech including girls, African-American and Latino students and students from low-income families. 

Total private fundraising, led by CSNYC, the Fund for Public Schools, and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, has reached $20.65 million, more than halfway to the 10-year goal in just one year. Computer Science for All is generously supported by 17 funders, including: CSNYC; Robin Hood; Math for America (MƒA); the Robin Hood Education and Technology Fund; AOL Charitable Foundation; Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.; The Hutchins Family Foundation; The Paulson Family Foundation; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, & Katz; Hearst Foundations; Code.org; Ron and Topher Conway; ABNY Foundation; The May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation; The Rudin Foundation; and Nancy and Alan Schwartz. 

“Computer science and technology will undoubtedly drive the economy of the future, and it is incumbent upon today’s leaders to prepare our students for tomorrow’s opportunities. I join with Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña in both celebrating Computer Science Education Week and recognizing the need to expand computer science, coding and other technology-based learning opportunities to every neighborhood," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. 

“All our kids need access to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math education – that’s what STEAM stands for,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “As the world grows, what’s available in the classroom must grow with it. Computer Science Education Week is an important reminder of how critical it is that we modernize our curricula and provide our kids full access to the knowledge they’ll need to participate in the world of tomorrow.” 

“Education is the most important investment we can make for our children,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “With this priority in mind, I’ve been pleased to secure substantial funds for brand new laptops and Smart Boards in all Queens elementary and middle schools, because a 21st century education can’t be built on 20th century hardware. CS education has long been a basic necessity for our kids to remain competitive in the global economy. The City’s CS4All initiative will help bridge the digital divide, equip our kids with a baseline of the fundamentals, and inspire even greater interest in STEM careers.” 

“Computer science education empowers students to think creatively and strategically,” said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm. “Young people hoping to pursue a career in computer science or a related field will be better equipped to do so as a result of this initiative. I support this important work and will continue to collaborate with Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña to enhance computer science education in our public schools.” 

“Computer science jobs are some of the fastest growing and highest paying across the country. In fact, New York City’s tech sector amounts to over 300,000 jobs, far too few of which are being filled by native New Yorkers,” said Council Member Mark Levine. “Mayor de Blasio’s ten year plan to increase CS programs in New York is a big step forward towards bringing our schools into the 21st century, and this legislation will give us the tools to report on that progress. By increasing the number of teachers and computer science programs in our schools, we will be preparing a diverse generation of young New Yorkers for careers in technology while giving them the skills they need to thrive in the global marketplace.” 

“ABNY Foundation is proud to support Computer Science for All – an innovative effort that is benefiting students across New York City classrooms, and will better prepare them for college and careers in the 21st century. This is a bold initiative that will support a bright future for New York City, and Computer Science Education Week is just one example of the tremendous enthusiasm around computer science education across the City,” said William C. Rudin, Chairman of the Association for a Better New York. 

“Wachtell Lipton has been proud to join with leaders in every sector of our City to support CS4All. Its progress in just the first year, and its transformative vision for the years to come, will make a powerful difference in the lives of children across this City who will be given the opportunity to learn, and ultimately themselves to lead, in a critical business sector and in an indispensable language of the future,” said Kevin S. Schwartz, Partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. 
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