Teach our Students Computer Science from Day One

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Teach our Students Computer Science from Day One

This petition had 2,305 supporters
Erin Devine started this petition to Department of Education and

Nine out of 10 schools in the U.S. fail to offer computer science courses. In this day and age, that’s like not teaching our students to read and write. Despite forecasts suggesting that computer-related employment will rise by 22 per cent by 2020, our government seems content to let our students fall behind while other countries strive to give their students all the advantages in the new job market.

And women and minorities are at an even greater risk of being left out of the computer tech industry. Last year, several large tech firms such as Facebook, Google, Linkedin and Yahoo released their employee demographic data. Yahoo and Facebook reported that only 15% of tech-related jobs were filled by women. It’s even more dire for minorities -- last year, Google released its employee demographics, and only 1% of its tech staff was black and just 2% was Hispanic. This, despite these minorities comprising 12% and 16% of the workforce at large.

Students coming from schools where computer science isn’t taught start out with a huge disadvantage. While their more privileged colleagues may have had computer education at a young age, disadvantaged students are entirely unprepared for even basic computer science courses when they reach college. It’s a recipe for disparity.

It’s time for our government to require that all schools provide computer science courses throughout a student's education. Without them, we are putting the success of our children in jeopardy and our future as a nation at risk .

In 2013, England became the first country to make computer sciences -- specifically programming -- mandatory in all grades. From the moment they start school at age five, to when they complete their first public exams at 16, children now learn coding. Chicago and New York are also moving towards making computer sciences a core part of their students’ education. But this is something that shouldn’t be handled piecemeal. The nation as a whole has a responsibility to look out for all of our children and ensure a bright future for everyone.

Please join me in telling our government that education should include computer technology from day one.  Sign my petition and help us bring America into the future.

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