Bottom-Up Advocacy

If you look back through American history for examples of successful grassroots movements that led to policy changes you may notice a few common threads. Trade unions emerged due to the industrial revolution, urbanization, and the reduction of family farms. The civil rights movement followed occupational and geographic changes for black families. The anti-war movement rose due to the draft that affected every 18 year old male in the United States to fight in an unpopular war. In each case there was a period of growing expectations that was followed by widespread disappointment.

If there is a grassroots movement for widespread adoption of computer science education, are we in the growing expectations phase or the widespread disappointment phase?  Can we get to substantial policy changes without the disappointment phase?

What has to happen in order for the average parent to demand rigorous computer science education in the K-12 public school system? If parents were to persist in demanding it, it would happen within a short span of years in most school systems. Looking back through history for how the average citizen was moved to act, we see that a few impassioned people at the local level have had an amazing impact, most notably in developing and inspiring local leaders. Trade unions, civil rights, the anti-war movement, all started with local leaders who inspired others to demand change.

Make it a point to attend your local CSTA chapter meetings this year, or if there is no chapter near you, start one.

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