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Business Leaders Say Computer Science Needs to Be A Core Subject


Today, a collection of more than 500 prominent business, education and non-business leaders is calling on states to update their K-12 curriculum to make computer science a core subject.

In a letter sent to governors from all fifty states, they wrote, “computer science provides an important foundation — not just for technology careers, but for every career in the world today,” and called on state leaders to update the curriculum to ensure everyone. students have the opportunity to learn computer science in school.

The effort is led by Code.org, a nonprofit education focused on expanding computer science education. The nonprofit says the letter reveals unprecedented support by bringing together celebrities from many sections of society to rally behind the idea that we should consider the computer science sector as part. in the core curriculum, such as algebra or biology. “You can’t send your child to school without even offering those things. You would expect everyone to learn this. It’s just about preparing for the world and for life and for any kind of career, ”explained Hadi Partovi, CEO of Code.org.

The push to include computer science in the curriculum is about jobs. Job prospects for information research and computer scientists are projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow by 22 percent over the next eight years. However, computer science job openings now exceed the number of people willing to fill them. In the U.S., there are about 700,000 computing jobs but only 80,000 computer science graduates each year, according to a Code.org release — and only about 5 percent of high school students are enrolled in computer science course.

The letter also suggested that the rise in remote employment creates opportunities for towns of all sizes to become tech hubs, increasing career paths for graduates. In the letter, the leaders also expressed hope that increased access to computer science training could improve the country’s cybersecurity readiness and reduce racial disparities.

This is something that should happen soon, they argue.

“There is a deep urgency to ensure all students, especially Black and Latino students who have no knowledge of the history of long-term mobile careers, develop the knowledge and skills essential to success. , “said Robert Smith, founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, in the release.

For the promoters, this is an important milestone. It may come as no surprise that top tech companies like Apple, Alphabet and Amazon have signed the letter, but Partovi said the nonprofit is excited to see names that aren’t typically associated with coding. “You wouldn’t expect people with toys, or coffee or shoes to think about computer science,” Partovi said. “But the reality is that Nike needs data scientists, Nike is concerned about cybersecurity. You know, every company cares about these things.

A Wonderful Time of Agreement

The idea of ​​including computer science as a core curriculum has evolved over the past few years. And Partovi says that with education becoming increasingly political, the idea is “something everyone can agree on about the future of education.”

Teachers are involved in politics in ways they didn’t need to before, according to Partovi. It is rare, he added, to see the names of multibillionaires next to union leaders such as the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, which both signed the letter.

“This is an issue that unites an era of increasing polarization,” Partovi said.

Make It Mandatory

Currently, the move to demand a computer science curriculum in every state, making computer science part of the core curriculum, involves forcing state leaders.

The letter is intended to attract as many governors as possible to commit to the infrastructure to make computer science a central part of K-12 education.

The National Governors Association holds an annual event called the K-12 Chairman’s Initiative, which brings together governors from across the country to collaborate on public policy. This year the event is focused on computer science, with the final session of the summer summit starting this week. The chair of the association, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, advocated for governors to make pledges regarding computer science offerings, funding and ensuring diversity and participation related to computer science courses.

If the letter can make the impact Partovi had hoped for, it would be a big step in making computer science mandatory.



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