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Director Wise announces Computer Science Education Work Group

Friday, May 26, 2017

Members will convene May 31 in Des Moines

Computer ScienceDES MOINES – Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise today announced a new advisory group to address critical issues in expanding computer science opportunities for students statewide.

The Computer Science Education Work Group was established as part of Senate File 274, which former Gov. Branstad signed into law on April 28. The legislation encourages computer science in every Iowa school, establishes voluntary computer science standards and creates a computer science professional development fund to help prepare teachers. 

“Computer science has become a basic skill in today’s economy, which makes high-quality computer science instruction increasingly important,” Wise said. “This new law puts in place an infrastructure that will encourage Iowa schools to provide students opportunities to build a strong foundation in computer science.”  

The work group’s charge will be to develop recommendations by November that include: 

  • How computer science courses could satisfy graduation requirements for math or science
  • How these courses could be integrated into a career and technical education pathway
  • The settings in which courses could be delivered (including in traditional high school settings, concurrent enrollment classes, and online)
  • Guidelines for an appropriate scope and sequence of computer science instruction at each grade level, and
  • How the computer science professional development fund established in the legislation could be used to meet the goals

The law also calls for the State Board of Education to adopt academic standards that set expectations for what students should know and be able to do in computer science, and for the Board of Educational Examiners to determine what a teacher’s endorsement in computer science would look like. 

The Computer Science Education Work Group will meet at least five times through October, with the first meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 31. Meetings are open to the public. 

Members are:

  • Stephanie Atkin, Director, Analyst Relations, Workiva
  • Lisa Bartusek, Executive Director, Iowa Association of School Boards
  • Bennett Brown, Teacher, Iowa City Community School District
  • Dan Carver, Teacher, Carlisle Elementary School 
  • Soma Chaudhuri, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Iowa State University
  • Mary Jane Cobb , Executive Director, Iowa State Education Association
  • Erika Cook, Bureau Chief, Standards and Curriculum, Iowa Department of Education
  • Tim Cronin, Superintendent, Central City Community School District
  • Steve Davis, President, Bio::Neos, Inc.
  • Don Doucette, Chancellor, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges
  • *Charlie Edwards, President, Iowa State Board of Education
  • *Linda Fandel, Special Assistant for Education, Office of the Governor
  • Sharon Flinspach, Teacher, Fairfield High School
  • Pei Fong, Student, Iowa State University
  • Stephen Fyfe, Professor, Central College
  • Moises Garcia, Student, Marshalltown Community School District 
  • Mark Gruwell, Owner, LearnAcre
  • *Rita Hart, State Senator, Wheatland
  • Cindy Herren, Teacher, Brookview Elementary School, Waukee
  • Brian Hill, Teacher, North Middle School, Sioux City
  • Denise Hoag, Teacher, Thomas Jefferson High School, Council Bluffs 
  • Roark Horn, Executive Director, School Administrators of Iowa
  • Tony Kioko, Principal Financial Group
  • *Monica Kurth, State Representative, Davenport
  • Ann Lebo, Executive Director, Iowa Board of Educational Examiners
  • Patrick Miller, Principal, Odebolt Arthur Battle Creek Ida Grove High School
  • Gertie Monat, School Improvement Facilitator, Keystone Area Education Agency
  • *Tom Moore, State Representative, Griswold
  • Nancy Mwirotsi, Pi 515 Program
  • Jason Pontius, Director of Institutional Research, Iowa Board of Regents
  • Todd Prusha, Executive Dean, Distance Learning, Kirkwood Community College
  • Erin Rollenhagen, President, Entrepreneurial Technologies
  • *Amy Sinclair, State Senator, Allerton
  • Jeremy Varner, Division Administrator, Community Colleges & Workforce Preparation, Iowa Department of Education
  • Brian Waller, President, Technology Association of Iowa
  • Jeff Weld, Executive Director, Governor's STEM Advisory Council, University of Northern Iowa
  • Ann Wiley, Instructional Technology Coordinator, Johnston Community School District
  • Ryan Wise, Director, Iowa Department of Education, Facilitator

* Ex-officio member

The meeting schedule is as follows:


  • Wednesday, May 31
  • Tuesday, June 20
  • Tuesday, August 15
  • Wednesday, September 13
  • Wednesday, October 18

Grimes State Office Building
Room B100 (Basement level)
400 E. 14th St.
Des Moines

All meetings will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. 

For more information on the Computer Science Education Work Group webpage.

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Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on May 21, 2018 at 8:03am.