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A Tale of Two Countries: Successes and Challenges in K-12 Computer Science Education in Israel and the United States


"This article tells a story of K-12 computer science in two different countries. These two countries differ profoundly in culture, language, government and state structure, and in their education systems. Despite these differences, however, they share the pursuit of excellence and high standards in K-12 education. In Israel, curriculum is determined at the national level. The high-school computer science curriculum has been in place for more than 20 years and is offered in all schools as an elective similar to biology, chemistry, and physics. The picture in the United States is more complex and therefore less amenable to generalization. Because educational policy is set at the state and sometimes even at the school district level, access to computer science courses and the content of those courses can vary even for schools within the same district. This article will describe the development of the curricula/standards in both countries and the current situation, focusing on common issues and challenges in areas such as equity and teacher training."