Computer science—general accreditation standards, 12.5, 12.11
Notice of Intended Action
Proposing rule making related to computer science and providing an opportunity for public comment
The State Board of Education hereby proposes to amend Chapter 12, "General Accreditation Standards," Iowa Administrative Code.
Legal Authority for Rule Making
This rule making is proposed under the authority provided in Iowa Code section 256.7(5).
State or Federal Law Implemented
This rule making implements, in whole or in part, 2020 Iowa Acts, House File 2629, division III.
Purpose and Summary
This proposed rule making implements 2020 Iowa Acts, House File 2629, division III. It adds computer science to the general accreditation standards and requires school districts and schools to develop and implement a computer science plan by July 1, 2022, that implements those standards.
This rule making has no fiscal impact to the State of Iowa.
After analysis and review of this rule making, no impact on jobs has been found.
Any person who believes that the application of the discretionary provisions of this rule making would result in hardship or injustice to that person may petition the State Board for a waiver of the discretionary provisions, if any, pursuant to 281—Chapter 4.
Any interested person may submit written or oral comments concerning this proposed rule making. Written or oral comments in response to this rule making must be received by the Department no later than 4:30 p.m. on October 27, 2020. Comments should be directed to:
Department of Education
Grimes State Office Building, Second Floor
400 East 14th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0146
A public hearing at which persons may present their views orally or in writing will be held as follows:
October 27, 2020
11 a.m. to 12 noon
ICN Room, Second Floor
Grimes State Office Building
Des Moines, Iowa
Via video conference:
Persons who wish to make oral comments at the public hearing may be asked to state their names for the record and to confine their remarks to the subject of this proposed rule making.
Any persons who intend to attend the public hearing and have special requirements, such as those related to hearing or mobility impairments, should contact the Department and advise of specific needs by calling 515.281.5295.
Review by Administrative Rules Review Committee
The Administrative Rules Review Committee, a bipartisan legislative committee which oversees rule making by executive branch agencies, may, on its own motion or on written request by any individual or group, review this rule making at its regular monthly meeting or at a special meeting. The Committee's meetings are open to the public, and interested persons may be heard as provided in Iowa Code section 17A.8(6).
The following rule-making actions are proposed:
Item 1. Amend rule 281—12.5(256) as follows:
281—12.5(256) Education program. The following education program standards shall be met by schools and school districts for accreditation with the start of the 1989-1990 school year.
12.5(1) and 12.5(2) No change.
12.5(3) Elementary program, grades 1-6. The following areas shall be taught in grades one through six: English-language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, human growth and development, physical education, traffic safety, music, and visual art. Computer science instruction incorporating the standards established under rule 281—12.11(256) shall be offered in at least one grade level commencing with the school year beginning July 1, 2023.
In implementing the elementary program standards, the following general curriculum definitions shall be used.
a. to i. No change.
12.5(4) Junior high program, grades 7 and 8. The following shall be taught in grades 7 and 8: English-language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, human growth and development, physical education, music, visual art, family and consumer education, career education, and technology education. Instruction in the following areas shall include the contributions and perspectives of persons with disabilities, both men and women, and persons from diverse racial and ethnic groups, and shall be designed to eliminate career and employment stereotypes. Computer science instruction incorporating the standards established under rule 281—12.11(256) shall be offered in at least one grade level commencing with the school year beginning July 1, 2023.
In implementing the junior high program standards, the following general curriculum definitions shall be used.
a. to l. No change.
12.5(5) High school program, grades 9-12. In grades 9 through 12, a unit is a course or equivalent related components or partial units taught throughout the academic year as defined in subrule 12.5(14). The following shall be offered and taught as the minimum program: English-language arts, six units; social studies, five units; mathematics, six units as specified in 12.5(5)"c"; science, five units; health, one unit; physical education, one unit; fine arts, three units; world language, four units; and vocational education, 12 units as specified in 12.5(5)"i." Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year graduating class, all students in schools and school districts shall satisfactorily complete at least four units of English-language arts, three units of mathematics, three units of science, three units of social studies, and one full unit of physical education as conditions of graduation. The three units of social studies may include the existing graduation requirements of one-half unit of United States government and one unit of United States history.
In implementing the high school program standards, the following curriculum standards shall be used.
a. to k. No change.
l. Computer science (one-half unit). Commencing with the school year beginning July 1, 2022, the one-half unit of computer science shall incorporate the standards established under rule 281—12.11(256) and may be offered online in accordance with 281—Chapter 15.
12.5(6) to 12.5(21) No change.
Item 2. Amend rule 281—12.11(256) as follows:
281—12.11(256) High-quality standards for computer science. It is the goal of the state board of education that every school district and every accredited nonpublic school shall offer instruction in high-quality computer science for elementary, middle school, and high school students by July 1, 2019.
12.11(1) Alignment with learning framework or standards developed by a nationally recognized computer science education organization or organizations. Beginning with the school year which begins July 1, 2018, and each school year thereafter, instruction in high-quality computer science shall reflect an alignment with a framework or learning standards developed by a nationally recognized computer science education organization or organizations. The department shall make available to school districts and accredited nonpublic schools such a framework or learning standards.
12.11(2) Professional development incentive fund. A computer science professional development incentive fund is established in the state treasury under the control of the department. The department may accept gifts, grants, bequests, and other private contributions, as well as state or federal moneys, for deposit in the fund. The department may disburse moneys contained in the fund for professional development activities or tuition reimbursement. Notwithstanding Iowa Code section 8.33, moneys in the computer science professional development incentive fund that remain unencumbered or unobligated at the close of the fiscal year shall not revert but shall remain available for expenditure for the purposes designated until the close of the succeeding fiscal year. The department may disburse those moneys in the following ways.
a. A school district or accredited nonpublic school, or a collaborative of one or more school districts, accredited nonpublic schools, and area education agencies, may apply to the department, in the manner prescribed by the department, to receive moneys from the fund to provide proven professional development activities for Iowa teachers in the area of computer science education.
b. A school district or accredited nonpublic school may apply to the department, in the manner prescribed by the department, to receive moneys from the fund to provide tuition reimbursement for Iowa teachers seeking endorsements or authorizations for computer science under Iowa Code section 272.2(20).
12.11(3) Applicability of rules. Subrule 12.11(1) Until July 1, 2021, subrule 12.11(1) shall only apply to school districts and accredited nonpublic schools receiving moneys from the computer science professional development incentive fund established in Iowa Code section 284.6A and described in subrule 12.11(2).
12.11(4) Computer science plan. The board of directors of each public school district and the authorities in charge of each nonpublic school shall develop and implement a kindergarten through grade 12 computer science plan by July 1, 2022, which incorporates the standards established under subrule 12.11(1), and the minimum educational standards relating to computer science contained in subrules 12.5(3) and 12.5(4) and paragraph 12.5(5)"l."