A recent posting in the New York Times highlights the importance of adding coding to our schools curriculum. The article follows founder of Code.org, explaining trials and successes of the tech industry to heighten relativity of programming as a common core standard. The computer science industry raises questions about essential US learning guides for success.
In most recent media, Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple, commented to Trump, “There is a huge deficit in the skills we need…Coding should be a requirement,” proposing that our government needs to take part in the movement.
The platform, Code.org, a non-profit, backs Tim Cook’s goal of getting every US school to teach computer science. Although seemingly logical, many skeptics disagree, centering on the debate that perhaps the Silicon Valley is mostly trying to get public investment in their own industry.
Recent bills passed in Idaho revolving around curriculum changes in computer science bring up even more debate about Silicon Valley involvement. Jane Margolis of the University of California’s Grad School of Education claims the topic can be “problematic” when industry leaders try to decide content and direction in the public sphere. Idaho STEM Action Center executive, Angela Hemingway, begs to differ, commenting, “Some people believe industry is going to be driving the education system, but that is not the case….They’re collaborative partners.”
While Code.org does have Silicon Valley partnership, the founder explains he only wants to improve job prospects. Microsoft claims the tech companies are trying to give voice to an over looked and necessary subject, not sway congressional leaders to buy into their industry, proclaiming, “We think computer science is to the 21st century was physics was to the 20th century.”
Such powerful statements and debates from both parties put the topic up to public facilitators and households to influence. Considering computer science is increasingly more relevant, it would be wise to heed the examples of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in leading a movement towards broader development of technically savvy students.
Article summary is contracted from NY Times post, “How Silicon Valley Pushed Coding into American Classrooms,” by Natasha Singer, June 27, 2017.