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Goode, Squires attend White House summits

Jane Squires throws the "O" at the White House

Joanna Goode, an associate professor in the Education Studies department, and Jane Squires (pictured), a professor in Special Education and Clinical Sciences, both recently attended events at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Goode was invited to a Dec. 8 White House event to kick off Computer Science Education Week. President Obama welcomed 30 students to participate in the "Hour of Code," a worldwide event in which millions participate. He announced several new commitments in support of technology in education, including:

  • Commitments by more than 60 school districts, including the seven largest school districts in the country, to offer computer science courses to their students. Together, these districts reach over 4 million students in more than 1,000 high schools and middle schools nationwide.
  • More than $20 million in philanthropic contributions to train 10,000 teachers by Fall 2015 and 25,000 teachers to teach computer science in time for the school year beginning in Fall 2016. Many of these teachers serve elementary school students.
  • New partnerships by the National Science Foundation (NSF) including a new Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science course by the College Board that emphasizes the creative aspects of computing and a focus on real-world applications. Leading partners, including Teach for America and the National Math and Science Initiative, will assist in implementation and scale-up of the course.
  • New steps to increase the participation of women and under-represented minorities in computer science, with a new computer science classroom design prize and many innovative outreach efforts. Work includes bringing needed visibility to exceptional role models like Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, the ENIAC programmers, NASA’s Katherine Johnson, and other leading technical heroes.

The kickoff event Goode attended included presentations by Dr. John Holdren, assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Megan Smith, chief technology officer of the United States; and France Córdova, director of the National Science Foundation. Goode was instrumental in the creation of Exploring Computer Science, a classroom curriculum used in several major U.S. cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

On Dec. 10, Squires attended the White House Summit on Early Education. President Obama addressed the invitees, introducing an independent initiative dubbed Invest in US, along with a raft of new private and federal actions in support of early childhood education. She is co-architect of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, a parent-completed assessment used more than a million times each year worldwide.

The goal of the summit was to highlight both the Obama administration’s successes in terms of early childhood initiatives, and the public private partnerships that his administration has fostered to advance his early childhood education agenda—including universal preschool, increasing availability of high quality childcare, and supporting infants and toddlers and their families in home settings.

"It was thrilling for me to be at the White House, listening to many of my heroes such as economist James Heckman (cost benefits of early education) as well as three Cabinet secretaries, the President, and Vice President," said Squires. "Also, it was exciting to hear from many large foundations and corporations such as David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Kellogg Foundation and to hear about the commitments they have made to making quality early education available to all families."

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