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CSTA K–12 Computer Science Standards

Computer science and the technologies it enables now lie at the heart of our economy and the way we live our lives. To be well-educated citizens in a computing-intensive world and to be prepared for careers in the 21st century, our students must have a clear understanding of the principles and practices of computer science. This document delineates a core set of learning standards designed to provide the foundation for a complete computer science curriculum and its implementation at the K–12 level. To this end, these standards:

1. Introduce the fundamental concepts of computer science to all students, beginning at the elementary school level.
2. Present computer science at the secondary school level in a way that can fulfill a computer science, math, or science graduation credit.
3. Encourage schools to offer additional secondary-level computer science courses that will allow interested students to study facets of computer science in more depth and prepare them for entry into the work force or college.
4. Increase the availability of rigorous computer science for all students, especially those who are members of underrepresented groups.

These standards have been written to be coherent and comprehensible to teachers, administrators, and policy makers.

Click here to see the Table of Contents

Click here to see the Executive Summary

Click here to download the full standards document with active hyperlinks. (4.1 MB)

Click here to download K-12 Estandares para las Ciencias de la Computacion. (650 KB)

Linking CSTA Standards with Other National Standards

When designing state and district standards and school courses and curricula, it is often helpful to know how the CSTA K–12 Computer Science Standards correspond with other common national standards. To help with these efforts, we have created a series of downloadable documents that match the CSTA standards to the following standards documents:
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Common Core Mathematical Practices Standards
  • STEM Cluster Topics
  • Partnership for the 21st Century Essential Skills
Click here to download the document mapping the CSTA K–12 Computer Science Standards to the Common Core State Standards.

Click here to download the document mapping the CSTA K–12 Computer Science Standards to the Common Core Mathematical Practice Standards.

Click here to download the document mapping the CSTA K–12 Computer Science Standards to the STEM Cluster Topics.

Click here to download the document highlighting the example CSTA Computer Science Standards matching the Partnership for 21st Century Skills: Essential Skills for Success.

Click here to download the document mapping the CSTA K–12 Computer Science Standards to the Partnership for the 21st Century Essential Skills.

Click here to download the landscape mapping of the the CSTA K–12 Computer Science Standards to several national standards.

Align Your Curriculum

Interested in having your product, resources or standards mapped to the CSTA Standards? Click here.

How to Use the CSTA Standards

When CSTA first designed the computer science standards, we expected that educational governing bodies (such as Departments of Education) would use them to create state and national standards for computer science education in schools. What we learned from our members, however, is that educators use the standards in a wide variety of creative ways. This document consists of direct quotes from educators on the ways in which they have been able to use the CSTA K–12 Computer Science Standards above to support a wide variety of professional goals.

Click here to download the document.

Standards Committee

The CSTA K–12 Computer Science Standards were developed by the CSTA Standards Task Force:

Deborah Seehorn, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Stephen Carey, Brunswick School Department
Brian Fuschetto, Lyndhurst High School
Irene Lee, Santa Fe Institute
Daniel Moix, College of the Ouachitas
Dianne O'Grady-Cunniff, Westlake High School
Barbara Boucher Owens, Southwestern University
Chris Stephenson, Computer Science Teachers Association
Anita Verno, Bergen Community College

Standards Reviewers

The CSTA standards were developed and refined using a rigorous, multi-faceted review process involving teachers, faculty, researchers, and curriculum specialists from all educational levels. CSTA would like to extend special thanks to the following reviewers, all of whom made significant contributions to this document:

Gail Chapman, ECS Director of National Outreach, Exploring Computer Science Program
Renee Ciezki, Computer Science Instructor, Estrella Mountain Community College
Creighton Edington, Deming Public Schools
Dr. Barbara Ericson, Director of Computing Outreach for the Institute for Computing Education, Georgia Tech
Dr. Michael Erlinger, Professor of Computer Science, Harvey Mudd College
Dave Feinberg, Teaching Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Baker Franke, University of Chicago Lab High School
Dr. Joanna Goode, Assistant Professor of Education Studies, University of Oregon
Dr. David Hemmendinger, Professor Emeritus Dept. of Computer Science, Union College
Stephanie Hoeppner, Clermont Northeastern Schools
Joe Kmoch, Milwaukee Public Schools
Carl Lyman, Utah State Office of Education
Dr. Jane Margolis, Senior Researcher, UCLA Graduate School of Education, UCLA
Deepa Muralidhar, North Gwinnett High School
Joshua Paley, Henry M. Gunn HS
Tammy Pirmann, Springfield Township High School
Kelly Powers, Advanced Math and Science Academy
Beth Richtsmeier, Meridian Technical Charter HS
Dr. Eric Roberts, Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University
Esther Romero, Portland Public Schools
Cameron Wilson, Director of Public Policy, ACM
Nancy Yauneridge, Saint Benedict School


CSTA works at many levels to support computing education.

Elementary and Middle school
(problem solving &
computational thinking)

High school
(computing &
computer science)

(enrollment &

(engagement &