In a newly released national report, Iowa has been named one of the top 10 states for computer science education., the leading provider of K-12 computer science curriculum in the United States, has ranked Iowa as seventh in the nation for providing high-quality computer science education in public schools. Iowa’s ranking is tied with Connecticut and is the first time the state has jumped in the top 10 for computer science. During the 2022-23 school year, Iowa saw a significant increase from 71 percent to 83 percent of high schools providing foundational computer science opportunities.

Computer Science

“We are proud to be recognized by a computer science leader like,” said Justin Lewis, computer science education consultant at the Iowa Department of Education. “The ranking is a reflection of the collaborative work within our state to ensure students receive high-quality computer science education.”

State rankings are identified by the implementation of 10 recommended policies that make computer science education foundational. These policies include the following initiatives:

  • Create a statewide plan for K-12 computer science
  • Define computer science and establish standards for K-12 computer science
  • Allocate funding for rigorous professional learning for computer science teachers
  • Implement clear certification pathways for computer science teachers at elementary and secondary levels
  • Create programs at institutions of higher education for preservice teachers
  • Establish dedicated computer science positions at state education agencies
  • Require that schools offer computer science with appropriate implementation timelines
  • Allow computer science to count towards core graduation requirement
  • Allow computer science to satisfy an admission requirement at higher education institutions
  • Require that all students take computer science to earn a high school diploma

Iowa scored highly in seven of the 10 categories and received recommendations for improvement in two areas: creating programs for preservice teachers and implementing a computer science requirement for graduation. Lewis noted that these two areas are anticipated to be addressed over the next year.

“In just a few short years, we have significantly moved computer science education forward in Iowa,” he said. “Through several intensive professional development opportunities, grant funding, STEM education priorities and, of course, the implementation of the computer science requirement at all grade levels, we have seen tremendous success. We will continue this important work to fill other gaps to ensure Iowa is at the top for computer science education.”

Initiatives such as the STEM Scale-Up program and Teacher Externships program through the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council at the Department have brought high-quality resources to computer science classrooms and have contributed to the state’s impact.

Additionally, immersive professional development opportunities like Computer Science Professional Development Week have been a priority for Iowa. Funded by the Department, Computer Science Professional Development Week has offered Iowa teachers a week-long opportunity to learn directly from computer science experts and leading teachers in the field.

In 2020, House File 2629 established that all accredited Iowa high schools provide at least one computer science course by the 2022-23 school year. Middle schools also must now offer computer science instruction in either seventh or eighth grade, and elementary schools must offer it in at least one grade.

For more information on computer science in Iowa, visit the Department’s webpage or contact Lewis at