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In Florida, Coding To Be Considered a Foreign Language

In Florida, Coding To Be Considered a Foreign Language

The Florida Senate has passed new legislation that-starting in the 2018-2019 school year-will let students take coding classes to satisfy foreign language requirements.

The move has pleased some and angered others.

Sen. Jeremy Ring (D-Parkland) introduced the bill because he believes coding is a basic skill that is needed for students to be college & career ready.

"The measure requires Florida College System institutions and state universities to accept two coding credits in place of the current two-credit foreign language requirement...Parents and students must sign a statement indicating that the switch may not meet the requirements of certain colleges and universities, according to the bill,” said USA Today.

Though the measure initially intended to mandate Florida’s schools to teach coding, the bill passed with schools having the option. In school districts without coding classes, students have the opportunity to " take classes through Florida Virtual School, a state-funded online school.”

Critics of the legislation cite different concerns for why it might not be the best idea.

For one, The NAACP's Florida Conference and Miami-Dadebranch, the Florida chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Spanish American League Against Discrimination (SALAD) released a joint statement arguing that coding skills should never be considered as a replacement of foreign language skills, said USA Today.

For two, some critics say the legislation will put school districts already lacking technological offerings at a further disadvantage despite the option of Florida Virtual School.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

3/2/2016

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