Cybersecurity & Tech

TechTank: Can Policymakers Level the Playing Field in the Computer Sciences?

Nicol Turner Lee
Monday, May 16, 2022, 11:49 AM

The latest episode of TechTank.

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

In this technological age, workforce demands for computer science (CS) skills have evolved and keep evolving. Demand for CS specialists have evolved across all fields, improving job and compensation prospects for those with experience in programming and data science. In turn, states schools have worked to incorporate CS into the K-12 public school curriculum to better prepare students for the workforce of the future.

It is integral to center the deployment of equitable policies as states evaluate the continued expansion of CS education. The existing tech workforce is filled with disparities, underrepresenting marginalized groups such as Black, Brown, and Native populations who suffer from unequal access to digital literacy and computer science education. In turn, this perpetuates existing social inequities, while the rollout of biased technologies go unchecked as development teams lack the lived experiences to spot the unintended consequences of new technologies.

On TechTank, host Nicol Turner Lee is joined by Michael Hansen, senior fellow at the Brown Center on Education Policy and the Herman and George R. Brown Chair of Governance Studies at Brookings; Nicolas Zerbino, research analyst at Brookings’s Brown Center on Education Policy; and Kimberly Scott, Professor of Women and Gender Studies in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University and the Founding Executive Director of ASU’s Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology. Together, the experts discuss what is needed to expand computer science education and make sure that all students can participate and succeed in the educational fields and economies of the future. They will also be discussing a recently-released report authored by Hansen and Zerbino, “Exploring the state of computer science education amid rapid policy expansion”.

You can listen to the episode and subscribe to the TechTank podcast on AppleSpotify, or Acast.

Dr. Nicol Turner Lee is a senior fellow in Governance Studies, the director of the Center for Technology Innovation, and serves as Co-Editor-In-Chief of TechTank. Dr. Turner Lee researches public policy designed to enable equitable access to technology across the U.S. and to harness its power to create change in communities across the world. Her work also explores global and domestic broadband deployment and internet governance issues. She is an expert on the intersection of race, wealth, and technology within the context of civic engagement, criminal justice, and economic development.

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