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In 10 Years, All NYC Students Will Learn Computer Science

In 10 Years, All NYC Students Will Learn Computer Science

New York City mayor Bill De Blasio announced that within ten years all of the city's public school students will be required to take computer science courses to respond to the needs of the city's growing technology sector.

Though the initiative is one that is supported by many, the city will face the same issues that many districts trying to incorporate computer science into their schools face- including the issues of training teachers to do the job.

In New York specifically, "[t]here is no state teacher certification in computer science, and no pipeline of computer science teachers coming out of college. Fewer than 10 percent of city schools currently offer any form of computer science education, and only 1 percent of students receive it, according to estimates by the city’s Department of Education," said The New York Times.

The city estimates that it will have train 5,000 teachers in the given time to make the initiative successful.

Another challenge will be the choice to not require computer science as a graduation requirement, therefore making it likely to be offered in many schools as an elective.

Still, the move represents a growing trend of ensuring that children have a basic understanding of computer science, such as learning basic programming languages.

"Noting that tech jobs in New York City grew 57 percent from 2007 to 2014, Gabrielle Fialkoff, the director of the city’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, said, 'I think there is acknowledgment that we need our students better prepared for these jobs and to address equity and diversity within the sector, as well,'" according to The Times.

All in all, the 10-year long initiative is estimated to cost the city $81 million, but thankfully many supporters in the tech industry have pledged funding.

"Some of the early contributions have come from the AOL Charitable Foundation, the Robin Hood Foundation and the venture capitalist Fred Wilson and his wife, Joanne, who previously financed New York City’s first high school devoted to computer science, the Academy for Software Engineering."

Read the full story and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

09/16/2015

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