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Faced with a desperate skills shortage, tech leaders plea for computer science reform in schools


More than 600 leaders of nonprofits, universities, and tech giants – as well as 50 U.S. governors – have signed a letter in support of updating the U.S. K -12 curriculum to include learning opportunities -on in computer science.

Industry giants such as Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Meta, Alphabet, Nike, UPS, AT&T, Walgreens, Zillow and others have teamed up to collaborate on tech education non-profit Code, which holds the mission of expanding computer access science education. , especially in underrepresented populations such as young women and people of color.

Founded in 2013 by twin brothers Hadi and Ali Partovi, the Code has already served 70 million students and two million teachers. The nonprofit has previously partnered with several big names on the list, including Google, Amazon and Microsoft, to create an annual campaign on Hour of Code, a 60-minute computer science tutorial offered by more than 45 languages.

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The signatories of the letter pledged to create employment opportunities for computer science students in every city and sector in America, from manufacturing to agriculture and to healthcare. In addition, for most signatories, this effort will include internships, career path resources and funding for computer science education within underserved communities.

The letter points to a unique shortcoming in the American curriculum: “The United States leads the world in technology, but only 5% of our high school students study computer science.”

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Currently, 51% of schools offer computer science, a huge jump from 35% in 2018. Despite this growth, Hispanic students, English language learners, students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students are less represented in high school computer science, relative to their state. population.

The letter also focuses on the disparity in supply and demand of workers in the tech industry. Currently, America has 700,000 open computing jobs but only 80,000 computer science graduates per year.

Code’s initiative to train the next generation of computing workforce as understood due to the existing infrastructure. Due to the pandemic school closure, American schools are funding laptops for 90% of students to achieve remote learning goals.

Finally, the letter says: It is our responsibility to prepare the next generation for the new American Dream. “

“At a time when every industry is impacted by digital technology, our schools need to teach every student how technology works, to learn to be creators, not just consumers.”

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