Self Appointed Experts
While looking over my tweet stream, I noticed this:
RSVP today for the K-12 CS Education Panel, presented by @Uber + @FlatironSchool: https://t.co/nVBbSbRn9d pic.twitter.com/NAxowSIfff— Flatiron School (@FlatironSchool) October 26, 2015
So, on November 12, one can head over to Uber and listen to three experts talk about K12 CS Education. To quote the landing page:
- How can we engage our students in CS, and train our teachers to teach it?
- What are the biggest obstacles to overcome?
- What is the future of K-12 CS Education?
- What's working?`
Who are these expert voices that we're supposed to be listening to.
The panel consists of three people: Adam Enbar of Flatiron School, Rebecca Novak of ScriptEd, and Debbie Marcus, the Executive Director of CS Education for the New York City Department of Education.
As a disclaimer, I have to say that I know Adam and Rebecca and consider them friends. I like ScriptEd and what they do in the schools. In fact, I think that my CSTUY programs are terrific next steps for ScriptEd kids. ScriptEd is becoming good at what they do and I think they're also aware of their limitations as an ed program. I also know that Flatiron has done a solid job retraining adults for the workforce. I don't think I've ever met Debbie Marcus. I also believe all these people are well meaning.
What's the lay of the land?
Given her position, Ms. Marcus will be considered a voice of authority and I can't seem to go to a CS Ed event without someone from the Flatiron School or someone from ScriptEd there in a place indicating that they should be considered an authority on K12 CS Education.
As much as I like what ScriptEd does in the schools and as much as the Flatiron School has a strong reputation as an adult coding school / workforce program should these voices be the ones we're listening to?
Let's dig deeper.
Higher up in this post, I link to all three panelists LinkedIn profiles. All three are conspicuously missing one thing - experience in CS and Rebecca is the only one who's LinkedIn profile indicates any time teaching.
Now, let's contrast that with the CSTUY and Stuy teams. Regular readers know what I've done building Stuyvesant's CS program and CSTUY over the past 25 years and if you look at my team they all have considerably more CS experience, Ed experience, and of course CS Ed experience.
Who's driving the train?
Who's being excluded?
What's wrong with this picture.