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Bad Times and Good Times in Georgia

By Barb Ericson

It has been a hard year for computing teachers in Georgia. Many school districts are operating with reduced budgets and have cut teachers. Even though Georgia teachers aren't unionized, the cuts were made based on seniority. Often the computing teachers had the least seniority and several were let go even though no other teachers in the school have the background or experience to teach computing classes. Several math teachers who also teach Advanced Placement Computer Science A were told that they couldn' teach as many computing classes this fall, as they will be needed to teach more math classes.

But, on a more positive note, Operation Reboot which is a NSF grant to retrain unemployed IT workers to be high school computing teachers, has picked a second group. We started training 9 unemployed IT workers in Dec of 2009 and they co-taught with the existing computing teachers in the spring of 2010. Three IT workers have quit the program, but the remaining six will co-teach in fall 2010. They will earn their initial teaching certificates in Dec 2010. We picked a second group of 9 unemployed IT workers in May 2010 and they have started training. They will co-teach during fall 2010 and spring 2011 and earn their initial teaching certificates in May 2011. We will pick a third group in May 2011.

We also have a huge number of teachers and IT workers registered for the summer Computing in the Modern World workshop at Georgia Tech (over 40). We have been offering free webinars on Alice, Media Computation, GridWorld, and Greenfoot (see http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/ice-gt/1387). We ran Alice and Scratch competitions and had over 100 students come to take a practice AP CS A exam at Georgia Tech this spring. We had over 300 high school students attend a Cool Computing Day at Georgia Tech this spring. We had 560 Girl Scouts attend computing workshops at Georgia Tech this year.

So things weren't all bad this year.

How have things been for you this year?

Barb Ericson
CSTA Board of Directors

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