Public Education Department Develops Computer Science Strategic Plan


The Public Education Department has created a five-year plan to ensure that New Mexico students learn the computer skills they need to participate as digital citizens and contribute to New Mexico’s economy.

The New Mexico Computer Science Strategic Plan is an outgrowth of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s goal to expand and promote student pathways into careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and a recognition that computer skills are essential in those and every other 21st century career field.

“Computer science is a vital part of each student’s educational pathway,” Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart said. “Through this strategic plan, our department will prioritize K-12 computer science education so all of our students are empowered to develop the skills necessary to contribute to New Mexico’s growing STEM economy.”

By 2026, computer science education will be a priority in K-12 public schools to improve students’ computational thinking, skills and literacy.

The plan outlines specific policy, implementation and educator development goals and a timeline to achieve them. For example:

By 2026, teachers will have a pathway to earn a computer science endorsement.By 2026, 50% of districts and charter schools will have their own K–12 computer science implementation plan. By 2023, every high school will o­ffer a secondary computer science course. By 2026, teachers will be offered ongoing professional learning to integrate computer science in K-8 classes. To ensure a commitment to the strategic plan, the PED will develop and administer a comprehensive needs assessment to various stakeholder groups, then collect and analyze data. The PED will revisit and update the strategic plan annually to inform stakeholders of progress toward meeting the goals.  A computer science taskforce was convened in the fall of 2019 to identify the vision and mission and outline the strategic plan. The task-force included individuals from across New Mexico who are invested in the improvement of computer science for the state’s students. It included pre-K-20 educators, students, legislators, industry partners and professional organizations. 

The group submitted its recommendations to the PED in early 2021, leading to completion of the computer science strategic plan this month.