Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A to Count for Mathmatics Requirement in Alabama


Alabama will soon be joining 15 other states in recognizing the importance of computer science for high school students by allowing these courses to count towards completion of the mathematics credits required for Alabama high school graduation.

At the request of Alabama State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Tommy Bice, I had the opportunity to assist with the convening of a statewide committee of Mathematics and Computer Science teachers and content specialists to compare the content of the AP Computer Science A Course and the Computer Science Principles Course with the Alabama Course of Study-Mathematics. The purpose of the comparison was to identify overlaps in content and to make recommendations to the State Department of Education regarding the option of awarding mathematics credit for completion of the Computer Science Courses.

Support for the committee work was provided by Dawn Morrison and Cynthia Freeman from the state department of education and Mary Boehm, President of A+ College Ready. A+ College Ready is partnering with the University of Alabama (UA) and Dr. Jeff Gray, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science at UA on a National Science Foundation CS10K grant, CS4AL.  Three of the CS4AL teachers, Jeff Baker, Jill Westerlund and Carol Yarbrough, also participated as committee members.

The committee was asked to:

  • Review content of the CS Principles Course and the AP Computer Science A Course
  • Review the high school mathematics courses as outlined in the Alabama Course of Study- Mathematics
  • Review support documents to clarify content
  • Map specific mathematics course of study objectives to content in the two CS course

A major driver for this work was the desire to increase opportunities for students and to give school and school district greater flexibility in offering these courses to a wider range of students.  Alabama educators could definitely identify with this quote from Running on Empty::

[D]espite the push for additional mathematics and science, and the recognition that curricula and graduation requirements must reflect the demands of a 21st Century workplace, computer science is still predominantly relegated to an elective credit. As a result, not only are students less likely to perceive computer science as relevant to their academic and career success, even students who are eager to take computer science courses are unable to fit them into their increasingly overcrowded school schedules. Administrators are also less likely to allocate funding to provide staff and resources for elective courses.

I am happy to report that the recommendations of the committee were reported out at a November 14, 2013 work session of the State Board of Education.  This recommendation allows the awarding of the mathematics credit for the completion of Computer Science Principles or Advanced Placement Computer Science A. 

The board work session was recorded and can be viewed at 

Final action on the recommendations will be taken by January, 2014. 

Key questions to consider:

  • What is the status of Computer Science in the graduation requirements of your state? 
  • Do you believe that allowing Computer Science to meet a math or science requirement will increase access and participation in Computer Science courses?
  • Helpful
  • Insightful



CSP Count as a Math Elective in Alabama

I was happy to hear the positive news and hope that everything goes as planned.  I am sure that parents and students will  support a positive decision.  As a teacher I get a lot of "why are we doing this."  Computer Science has a lot of answers concerning why.  I predict that both disciplines, mathematics and computer science, will work together in imaginative and productive ways.

Jackson Victor

I think this decision

I think this decision will help children to gain some new knowledge.Innovative thought

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The issue of awaring math  credit will come before the Alabama State Board for action this Thursday.  we are expectng a positive outcome.


Math Credit for Computer Science courses

As an update to my November blog,  I am pleased to share the following excerpts from a State Department of Education news release:

December 12, 2013

In an effort to provide Alabama’s students with additional methods to earn their high school diplomas, today the State Board of Education approved a motion that now allows two courses – Computer Science Principles and Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science A – to officially count as math credit for high school graduation in Alabama. 

 “Incorporating technology and computer science instruction is important to help educate and train students for college or a career,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “Today’s decision by the State Board of Education will ensure that Alabama students will be even better prepared for tomorrow’s careers.”  

 “We want to give Alabama students multiple pathways to meet their graduation requirements that are engaging and aligned with 21st century opportunities,” said State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice. “These courses are rigorous and are an innovative way to teach our high school math curriculum. In these courses, students will learn the core concepts of mathematics, but they will go one step further and apply these concepts to real-world situations. This additional focus on real-world application will greatly benefit our students as they prepare for college and their future careers.”

The complete news release can be found at:



Computer science is the

Computer science is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications. It is the systematic study of the feasibility,structure,expression and mechanization of the methodical process that underlie the acquisition, representation,processing,storage,communication of and access to information,whether such information is encoded in bits and bytes in a computer memory or transcribed engines and protein structures in a human cell. 640-722 Braindumps



I am extremely excited to be part of the group introducting this to our state. I have high hopes this course will inspire students at my school to take the CS-A course that teaches them Java.