Computer science is marginalized

K–12 schools don’t teach students “the fundamental computer science knowledge and skills they need for future success,” argues Running on Empty: The Failure to Teach K-12 Computer Science in the Digital Age, a report by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).

Most states treat high school computer science courses as an elective and not part of a student’s core education, the report complains.

At a time when computing is driving job growth and new scientific discovery, it is unacceptable that roughly two-thirds of the entire country has few computer science standards for secondary school education, K–8 computer science standards are deeply confused, few states count computer science as a core academic subject for graduation, and computer science teacher certification is deeply flawed.

 Computing in the Core, a newly formed coalition, will lobby for making computer science a core academic subject.

Many computer science courses teach keyboarding and use of the Internet but don’t teach “understanding and applying algorithmic and computational thinking.”  According to CSTA, schools are offering fewer  computer science courses at both the introductory and Advanced Placement (AP) level.
I’m not convinced that everyone needs computer science to succeed in the digital age.  I use computers without knowing much about programming. (I did take a programming class in high school — to meet boys.)  I drive a car without knowing auto mechanics.

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