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Chicago Public Schools Promoting Computer Science to Core Subject

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the haskell-hacking-teenagers dept.

Programming 236

dmiller1984 writes "The Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest public school system in the United States, announced a five-year plan today that would add at least one computer science course to every CPS high school, and elevate computer science to a core requirement instead of an elective. CPS announced this through a partnership with code.org, stating that the non-profit would provide free curriculum, professional development, and stipends for teachers."

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236 comments

Keyboarding (5, Insightful)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 4 months ago | (#45646099)

Every pupil will be required to take the Keyboarding course.

The computer labs will fill with students who hate being there.

Re: Keyboarding (2)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 4 months ago | (#45646233)

Typing classes were some of my favorites. Sure there was a lot of repetition, but we did get to play some game. And there was no boring memorization/regurgitation/essay BS like history, English, or a ton of other subjectivity marked courses where the profs favorites got the best marks.

Re: Keyboarding (2)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 4 months ago | (#45646417)

Mario Teaches Typing was the keyboarding portion of the generalized computer classes I had in middle school. Never was there more interest in a subject than that.

The Typing of the Dead (2)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#45646551)

Nowadays would something like The Typing of the Dead [wikipedia.org] be more popular?

Re:The Typing of the Dead (3, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 4 months ago | (#45646711)

Depends on the student (just look at the player demographics of Mario games vs. violent zombie games), although I don't think that would fly in almost any school nowadays. Mario is a much less openly violent game. It's overall structure is better at educating students from a zero-experience start, as well. For example, in MTT, they show you exact fingers for any given key. You can get through most of the first level with hunt and peck, which means less frustration for students, and a better likelihood of them wanting to play more instead of give up. Meanwhile in TotD, you're lucky to make it through the first level at all as a typical kid typist IIRC (it's been a long time, but I played TotD a few years after MTT, and couldn't get to the annoying imp+golem boss - I just beat him on Dreamcast with a lightgun instead). I actually think MTT is one of the best educational games ever created - it's thoroughly teaching the skills, but makes it feel so much like a real game, and starts from a realistic skill level to allow anyone to pick it up.

Does Mario Teaches Typing work on recent Windows? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#45647099)

Mario Teaches Typing hasn't been updated since 1996 according to Wikipedia. How well does it work in Windows 7, 8, or 8.1? Or are schools prepared to hunt down a Windows 95/98 license per machine and run it in a virtual machine?

Re: Keyboarding (4, Funny)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 4 months ago | (#45646545)

I don't normally do this, but in this case I can't resist:

And there was no boring memorization/regurgitation/essay BS like history, English, or a ton of other subjectively marked courses where the prof's favorites got the best marks.

That's minus two points. I could mark off a few more for poor style, but you seem like a nice kid so I'll let it slide.

Re: Keyboarding (1, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 4 months ago | (#45646889)

It must really kill people who care about that sort of thing that once they're out in the real world no one cares what they think. I've let co-op students go and made sure they weren't hired by my company because they complained about someone's style and fixated minor spelling / grammar errors in a design doc, not written by me.

If you want to program a computer you have to be better than one. If you're going to segfault on a comma there are real computers that require attention. Go back to school where it's appreciated.

P.S replying on a phone and /. mobile is crap. I always give the benefit of the doubt, not knowing the platform someone might have to use.

Re: Keyboarding (5, Insightful)

dcollins (135727) | about 4 months ago | (#45646951)

My current employer told me, years after the fact, that I got an interview specifically because my cover letter seemed so literate. Quality writing is the level-zero evaluation (quick and accessible) for anyone's level of education and attention to detail.

More specifically, the idea of programming a computer and being simultaneously sloppy on syntax is pretty mind-boggling -- and from experience the code turned out by people like that, not caring about how they communicate with other people (if it compiles, it's committed), is pretty hellish.

Re: Keyboarding (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#45647243)

It's all context.

A resume or cover letter has to be absolutely perfect. Two things bother me about mistakes on those: First, at least take the time to have a friend check your resume. How long would that take? If you don't care enough to do that, then why am I even reading this thing? Second, you have to be aware that there are grammar and spelling Nazis out there - some of them in HR and some in your chosen field. How can you possibly be good at critical thinking if you don't realize this and try to take this minimal step to assuage them? This is the first impression you will have on a potential employer!

On the other hand, some minor grammar or spelling (but really, spell check?) errors in internal documentation are no big deal, and certainly not worth kicking back a code or documentation review. Those only should happen when it changes the meaning or affects understanding somehow.

Re: Keyboarding (2)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 4 months ago | (#45647319)

It's all context.

Agreed. So, for example, Slashdot posts are really not that important in the grand scheme of things. I try to communicate clearly, but I'm sure a review would show that I do not proofread as I would for a published texts. Though the posts are recorded, the discussion is almost as ephemeral as real conversation and should be approached accordingly. But suppose you're going to write a Slashdot post where you dismiss the value of English courses (or at least a key exercise used to demonstrate you've learned something in an English course). In that context, the irony of obvious solecisms would be a bit too much.

Re: Keyboarding (3)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 4 months ago | (#45647389)

I try to communicate clearly, but I'm sure a review would show that I do not proofread as I would for a published text.

FTFM. What an illiterate ass. Doesn't even bother to proofread.

Re:Keyboarding (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646335)

With how badly we teach everything else, I think this will just make kids hate computer science and give them a false idea of what it is.

Re:Keyboarding (2)

Xicor (2738029) | about 4 months ago | (#45646647)

i enjoyed my CS class. now im a CS major. our professor in highschool had an epic way of grading project assignments... there were 4 grade levels up to 100 based on how far you got... and if you went above that, he would assign grades above 100. there was a kid in my class who got a 1000 out of 100 on an assignment... got an automatic A for the class. ( i only got a 200/100 on that project)

Re:Keyboarding (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646361)

Keyboarding is more important than handwriting in this age, and basic literacy is the very minimum an educational system should try to achieve.

Re:Keyboarding (2)

timeOday (582209) | about 4 months ago | (#45646411)

Typing is maybe #1 among the courses in highschool that I remember and that has had a concrete benefit to me. That said, each of my kids has been taught keyboard in 3rd or 4th grade so it's not highschool material any more.

Re:Keyboarding (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#45647339)

Typing is maybe #1 among the courses in highschool that I remember and that has had a concrete benefit to me.

Me too. Typing was the most useful thing I learned in high school.

That said, each of my kids has been taught keyboard in 3rd or 4th grade so it's not highschool material any more.

My son is in 4th grade, and they are learning to type in school. They dumped cursive to free up time in the schedule. I haven't used cursive handwriting since I learned to type, so it may be time to toss it on the ash heap of history.

Re: Keyboarding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646535)

Base CS class is fine but I hope they'll offer to HS students the necessary math classes that compliment CS like Discrete Math.

Re:Keyboarding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646577)

if you put enough students in front of keyboards, they will ultimately write shakespeare.
But they will still ask you if they should click ok when it asks Are you sure?

Re:Keyboarding (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 4 months ago | (#45646657)

Every pupil will be required to take the Keyboarding course.

The computer labs will fill with students who hate being there.

Just tell them there's a way to hack the computers and you won't be able to keep them out.

Re:Keyboarding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646837)

Every pupil will be required to take the Keyboarding course.

The computer labs will fill with students who hate being there.

Perhaps our hate should be focused towards the fact that it's 2013, we're still banging away on boxes full of plastic letters for input devices, and we've been lied and bullshitted by the best of them that speech-to-text is the wave of the future.

Seems we've been waiting on the beach for a solid wave for over 20 years now. Shit or get off the pot.

Re:Keyboarding (1)

John Bodin (189895) | about 4 months ago | (#45646963)

My son in 11th grade with everything he has to take is already doing his second year of not even getting a lunch break in the school day, hes also not the only one. How are they going to force one more course into a schedule that is already over loaded with the government says you must take this courses?

Re:Keyboarding (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45647029)

Who doesn't already know how to type these days? Every kid has a smartphone with texting.

What's left to teach in Keyboarding? How to type with fingers instead of thumbs?

Re:Keyboarding (2)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#45647135)

Who doesn't already know how to type these days? Every kid has a smartphone with texting.

Even children of the working poor?

What's left to teach in Keyboarding? How to type with fingers instead of thumbs?

Yes. Where the number keys and the punctuation keys are on big boy keyboards. How to exceed 60 wpm by touch typing. How to WASD around a model of the school building shooting paintballs at your intramural opponents.

Re:Keyboarding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45647297)

Even children of the working poor?

Especially the poor. Phones are dirt cheap and people want to be social with friends and family who all have phones. The only people today who don't have phones are willfully antisocial basement dwelling Slashdot posters.

How to WASD around a model of the school building shooting paintballs at your intramural opponents.

Are you fucking joking? Modeling your school in a video game doesn't just earn you an expulsion, it earns you prison time. Did you sleep through the past twenty years of contemporary American history?

How long before... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646171)

...people see that this is Gates and Zuck and blindly assume this is some lock-in without actually looking at the content.

If it were some Microsoft or Facebook specific thing then yes it would be bad, but it isnt. So please read the curriculum before commenting.

Re:How long before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646679)

Yes because the curriculum has been excellent der Fuhrer.
http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/55091

Another distraction from basic education (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646189)

If we can't get basics like reading figured out, what does it matter?

Try this: duckduckgo/google/bing/etc for "chicago public schools proficient".

Let's get reading figured out before we promote other things to core requirements.

Re:Another distraction from basic education (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646651)

We don't need your racism on slashdot.

Critical thinking (3, Insightful)

enigma32 (128601) | about 4 months ago | (#45646217)

Yeah, this is great and all...

But wouldn't it be more useful to have a course that emphasizes critical thinking about all types of problems rather than focusing on one specific application of critical thinking? People usually seem to overlook that the important thing about working with computers is the ability to think critically about what you're doing, not the specifics of what you're doing.

Traditional science classes kind of broach the surface of critical thinking, but I suspect that it could be covered in much greater depth over a wide variety of problems, to much better effect.

Re:Critical thinking (2)

jader3rd (2222716) | about 4 months ago | (#45646265)

But wouldn't it be more useful to have a course that emphasizes critical thinking about all types of problems rather than focusing on one specific application of critical thinking?

Yes, but sometimes getting your hands dirty helps too.

I remember my first CS class in University. The professors were using a new text book that tried to teach programming without doing much programming. It was very difficult, and they dropped the book for the next semester. A year later I remembered that reading that book always put me to sleep, and I was having trouble sleeping so I picked the book up, and to my surprise it was awesome! I even thought about how it did a great job teaching programming without really being language specific. But I could only see that in hindsight, after having had a couple of months of actually programming and poking around.

Re:Critical thinking (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 4 months ago | (#45646305)

How generalized do you want to get? I mean you can get seriously non-specific about it then lose people as you meander through the thought experiments, or give them a base to start from.

On the other hand, education about how computers function might start to ablate this "black box" that computers are. That hands-off, "I can'tpossibly understand" attitude is what makes the average person so susceptible to malware.

Re:Critical thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646355)

That hands-off, "I can'tpossibly understand" attitude is what makes the average person so susceptible to malware.

If you merely wanted to make people less susceptible to malware, there are a number of other ways to do that besides 'teaching' computer science. Plus, "can't possibly understand" is a good way to describe most people when it comes to anything even remotely complex. That's why we have so many crappy programmers; doing something like that well and truly understanding what you're doing takes talent that most people simply don't have.

I doubt this course will have anything to do with actual computer science, anyway.

Re:Critical thinking (1)

danlip (737336) | about 4 months ago | (#45646369)

Traditional science classes kind of broach the surface of critical thinking

Science classes should involve critical thinking, but unfortunately most don't. Rather than teaching science they teach a set of facts, handed down by authority, that you must memorize.

I agree that a general logic and critical thinking class would be good but perhaps very hard to implement. A coding class gives a good framework for this, and a very hands-on framework, which I think is best. Once you learn this you can generalize.

Although I cringe at thinking about how the public school system might water-down and corrupt a coding class.

Re:Critical thinking (3, Insightful)

scamper_22 (1073470) | about 4 months ago | (#45646613)

I taught high school computer science for a while and I an a software developer.

I think almost anyone will agree that teaching how to think, understand and create algorithms, and critical thinking is the goal of computer science.

However, how do you express those thoughts? You could do it through the use of abstract mathematical symbols or perhaps pseudo-code.

Or you can express thoughts same thoughts via a programming language.

Better still, using a programming language lets you see the actual results of what you programmed, debug, find problems, view variable contents...

People who criticize the teaching of computer science always seem to hate on the choice of programming language. Look, I agree sometimes schools pick a practical or industry used programming language.

But this is not a problem. The problem resides in what you do with that language. If all you teach kids about programming is calling into libraries, then yeah, it is a problem. But if you teach them logic and control and variables, which most programming languages provide, then you're doing fine.

Even languages like Java which hide memory allocation are not that bad. This is high school computer science. If you can get them to understand variables and a for-loop, you're a miracle worker :)

They can learn the details of memory management in college/university or another advanced high-school class.

Re:Critical thinking (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45647025)

That's fuckin' idiotic. Computer science is not a programming class. If you want programming, have a programming class; don't feed people's ignorance by calling it "computer science."

Re:Critical thinking (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45647101)

People who criticize the teaching of computer science always seem to hate on the choice of programming language. Look, I agree sometimes schools pick a practical or industry used programming language.

Can't go wrong with JavaScript. It's already installed on every computer, it's an interpreted language that gives immediate feedback, has lax typing so it's easy to learn, and it's used by industry out of sheer necessity. JavaScript is a perfect first step toward learning Java and C.

Teaching critical thinking early is a bad idea (4, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | about 4 months ago | (#45646721)

But wouldn't it be more useful to have a course that emphasizes critical thinking about all types of problems rather than focusing on one specific application of critical thinking?

Teaching critical thinking early is a bad idea.

There is a place and time for shoveling as much information into a child's head as it can possibly hold without exploding. This is when we teach multiplication tables, drill grammar into their thick skulls, teach them basic math up through algebra, spelling, penmanship, history, and so on.

As soon as you teach critical thinking skills, it's like setting the write protect bit: it enables them to make a value judgement on the validity of the information they are being given by the teachers (and other adults), and as soon as you have that, you begin to build distrust of information sources - even ones with good information to impart.

Generally some critical thinking skills form on their own; creative writing, physics, chemistry, debate, and other classes tend to foster their development, regardless of whether or not you are done shoveling the basic stuff into their heads. As soon as that bit is set, you might as well give up trying to program them, you've lost: they're teenagers.

Logic classes belong in the first quarter/semester of your first year of college, and not before.

Re:Teaching critical thinking early is a bad idea (3, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 4 months ago | (#45646853)

Exactly. Why would we ever want to 'teach' people to have critical thinking skills? Schooling is all about indoctrination and rote memorization, and actual thoughts would just get in the way of that.

Re:Teaching critical thinking early is a bad idea (3, Interesting)

tlambert (566799) | about 4 months ago | (#45647333)

Exactly. Why would we ever want to 'teach' people to have critical thinking skills? Schooling is all about indoctrination and rote memorization, and actual thoughts would just get in the way of that.

I think you missed the part where I said that some critical thinking skills are formed on their own; and people should definitely have critical thinking skills; I've been persuaded by another poster that it should be a mandatory grade 12 (High School Senior) course, rather than waiting for the first year of college.

It's counter productive to impair the ability to teach children rote information by teaching them to doubt the source before attempting to teach them the rote information. For non-rote information classes, that's the likely places that self-derived critical thinking skills will develop on their own.

Also see my other post about certain religious sects - I give the example of Amish/Mennonite communities) where doubting your teacher in school becomes the same as doubting your parents and doubting your religious authority. Instilling a high probability of acting on such doubts, which is an opportunity given at 14-16 years of age in those communities, is effectively cultural genocide.

While you may be saying "Good! I'm a rational humanist, and they should be too! I want everyone to be like me!", those cultures embody skill sets that we, as a society, may decide we need some day, in the same way that some - myself included - have argued that kids should be taught to do math without calculators because one EMP, and they won't be able to add anything on their own past "ten fingers" any more.

Re:Teaching critical thinking early is a bad idea (5, Insightful)

femtobyte (710429) | about 4 months ago | (#45646907)

Woah, kids don't become teenagers because you've taught them critical thinking. You're seriously confusing correlation and causation here. Kids hit the "teenager" stage of mental development whether you want it or not, as a natural part of the progression in brain development. The right time to teach critical thinking is whenever kids are ready for it (which will vary from child to child, sometimes by quite a lot).

For young children still in the "sponge up, memorize, and repeat information from the environment with no higher analysis" developmental phase, a repetitive, memorization of random facts and methods approach is appropriate. However, introducing the "higher thinking" approach as soon as kids are able to handle it is highly beneficial --- when you can understand and synthesize material, in addition to just remembering something you've seen before, you'll do far better at every subject. Stunting critical skills by beating rote conformity into teenagers (who have hit brain development stages incompatible with this) may produce quiet, well-behaved, and dull idiots, but that shouldn't be the goal of education. Rather, guiding the inevitable development of critical thinking through the wacky teenage years to take advantage of good information along with rebelling against bad is how to go about education.

Re:Teaching critical thinking early is a bad idea (1)

Prune (557140) | about 4 months ago | (#45647241)

The source of disagreement between you and GP seems to be when, exactly, "as soon as kids are able to handle it" is. In reality, I'm not sure how narrow the spread is among students of when the appropriate age is. The standard deviation may be on the order of a couple of years. This is yet another issue where a more individualized approach to education would help--something, unfortunately, currently not available to the masses.

Re:Teaching critical thinking early is a bad idea (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about 4 months ago | (#45647343)

I can't use myself as a "typical" example, because I'm already quite a few standard deviations out on much else --- however, I can certainly say that there was a reasonably large population of high-school aged students perfectly capable of handling and thriving on critical-thinking-engaged work; the idea of holding this off until "first tear of college" is quite extreme. But, even earlier in schooling, there's often a clear difference between students who critically understand material (hence are able to flexibly generalize), versus the memorizing-algorithms-I-don't-understand approach (leaving students helpless when asked to solve any problem not exactly identical to an example repeatedly worked through). This shows that at least some younger students are fully capable of absorbing and applying non-rote-drilling instruction.

My core disagreement with the GGP, though, is the idea of a "critical thinking switch" that turns kids into rebellious teenagers if taught critical thinking. This is pure bunk --- kids turn into wacky rebellious teenagers for purely natural causes (just how brains develop during that period). You can either harness and guide this development to turn undirected craziness into productive critical thought (including ample room for criticism of authority), or you can try and beat it out of them (resulting either in dull idiots, or extreme backlash rebellion). But you won't stave off the developmental changes until college by locking teenagers into a drill-and-test prison.

Re:Teaching critical thinking early is a bad idea (1)

Prune (557140) | about 4 months ago | (#45647205)

This is an insightful post. I'm persuaded that it's possible to try to teach this too early, before some foundational knowledge has been instilled. But I'm not sure that it's necessary to delay until the first term of a college, especially since everyone would benefit, not just those that end up going to college. I would support a mandatory course in senior high school year, with some of the principles being touched upon in science classes before that.

Re:Teaching critical thinking early is a bad idea (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 4 months ago | (#45647267)

This is an insightful post. I'm persuaded that it's possible to try to teach this too early, before some foundational knowledge has been instilled. But I'm not sure that it's necessary to delay until the first term of a college, especially since everyone would benefit, not just those that end up going to college. I would support a mandatory course in senior high school year, with some of the principles being touched upon in science classes before that.

That's a reasonable point. People are mandatorily required to attend primary education through grade 12 in the U.S. (with the exception of some "grade 8 then done" Amish/Mennonite communities), and teaching it before they go out into the world is a good idea. It may actually be counter-productive to the continued existence of those communities, so the stop should not be adjusted downward in those instances - throwing doubt about informations sources right before they go on Rumspringa would likely steal many children from their culture and homogonize them into the mainstream.

Re:Critical thinking (1)

dcollins (135727) | about 4 months ago | (#45646985)

"Critical thinking" is this mantra that has come to signify almost nothing. A peculiar CS-person fugue seems to be "education is never abstracted enough to satisfy me". People cannot think in the abstract without first thinking about something concrete. Lots of specific knowledge is what allows connections to be made.

"Knowledge comes into play mainly because if we want our students to learn how to think critically, they must have something to think about." [Daniel T. Willingham, American Educator [aft.org] ]

Re:Critical thinking (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#45647037)

I read a study once (in this excellent book [amazon.com] ) that students who took classes about logical fallacies were no more able to recognize fallacies after the class than before. So I think it helps to at least have a class that discusses concrete applications, rather than abstract critical thinking.

Similar to this class, if they talk about abstract things like class hierarchies or introspection, everyone will be bored. But if they talk about making games (or whatever teenagers are interested in) then some people might learn some things.

Re:Critical thinking (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#45647073)

In some schools, like in Japan, the teachers first present a problem to students before teaching them the required accepted method for solving it. For instance: Find the area of a triangle. The students break into groups and work on solving the problem. Many times the students re-invent the same equations our greatest ancient minds came up with, sometimes they come up with correct but imprecise or inefficient methods. Then the students are given the accepted knowledge with which to solve the other class / home work to ensure they know how to apply the solution to the problem space, and to grade them accordingly. Thus problem solving becomes an inherent part of all classes.

Contrast this with the USA education system where the teacher lectures about some known way to solve something then the kids practice doing so, not understanding why that's a good option or how useful the knowledge really is (no prior attempts to solve the problem to compare).

Now, I think Computer Science is a deep enough subject that it can be taught by itself, but IMO, we should actually just revise the language of mathematics to be more easily computer interpretable. Big E like symbol? Oh that's a Sigma, why not call it an iterative loop instead and teach the kids a programming language with their algebra. If one picks an existing language then the kids can immediately leverage their mathematical tools on the real world -- Thus putting to bed that #1 question kids have, "Meh, when am I ever going to use this in the real world." How about right now?

Humans are tool using creatures. If I were to preach to you about the virtues of buggy whips and have you use and demonstrate proper whip cracking form, you'd be pretty damned bored. Mathematics is the buggy whip here to the kids. If a human doesn't get to utilize the tool you're trying to teach them to use, they won't see why it's a beneficial tool to have. Want to make a flunking algebra student into an A+ student? Teach them some Unreal Script and mod a game / Teach them some JavaScript and have them create simple HTML5 games of their own. I was 8 when I learned BASIC and modded Apple IIe games by accident in the computer lab -- Learned programming without a mentor; With a mentor we can achieve great things. I've found that the flunkers are among the brightest and bored kids in the class -- They just haven't been given a problem space with which to use their tools in.

This is the Information Age. Every single profession will involve computers. Not teaching kids how to describe their problems to computers is like not teaching them how to read and write. Why in the world would anyone try to teach mathematics on anything other than the most powerful 3D graphing calculators in the world is beyond me.

Sure (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 4 months ago | (#45647247)

but you're losing sight of the problem code.org is trying to solve: highly paid software engineers. Whoops, there I go again with that 'Critical Thinkin''. :)

And the xtians are going nuts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646231)

They hate logic and truth. Expect this experiment to die long before it starts. xtianism is just too powerful in that country.

all bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646253)

of all students taking AP computer science, fewer than 20 percent are women and fewer than 10 percent are black or Latino.

But nobody is concerned about the 99% white female enrollment in "Home Economics" courses. Because "Home Ec." isn't a high-paying career right out of college.
Families shovel McDonald's fatburgers for dinner on their way home from buying shitty Chinese clothes from Wal-Mart, because mommy and daddy can't cook or sew.
Notice they don't mention "Asian". Because if they did, suddenly it doesn't look like an All-Whites thing anymore.

Yes, I think we should make this stuff available to kids. But a core req? Not appropriate to add another core while the basics are being outright ignored. How the fuck is Johnnie Latino or Jackson McBlack going to learn to code when they can't read above a 3rd grade level, are still working on getting the hang of long addition, and spend their free time after school bustin' rhymes and making fat stacks slinging dope?

Make it core for Trig students (4, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 4 months ago | (#45646287)

Forcing CS down on everyone's throat would be like forcing calculus. Some can take it and some can't.

I'd guess that about half the population (IQ below 100) will never get programming no matter how hard you try to teach them.

But if a kid can pass algebra and geometry, they can probably learn some BASIC.

The ones that can't hack algebra, teach them Excel or data entry so the school board can be proud of leading the high tech education future or something along those lines.

Re:Make it core for Trig students (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 4 months ago | (#45646373)

I'd guess that about half the population (IQ below 100) will never get programming no matter how hard you try to teach them.

That depends on what you mean by "get programming." If you're merely talking about making any sort of program and the quality of the code doesn't matter at all, then I disagree. If you're talking about being competent, then I think far less than half could "get programming." IQ also has nothing to do with it.

Re:Make it core for Trig students (1)

danlip (737336) | about 4 months ago | (#45646429)

if a kid can pass algebra and geometry, they can probably learn some BASIC.

"It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration." - Edsger W. Dijkstra

Not that I actually agree with Dijkstra on this. I started out on BASIC and became a good programmer despite it (emphasis on "despite") as did many other kids in my generation. But there are certainly better languages to start with. In 1980 people actually tried to write real programs in BASIC and it at least had the advantage that it was native on many home computers - now you would have to go out of your way to find it, so why use it?

Re:Make it core for Trig students (1)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | about 4 months ago | (#45647341)

Because silly toy languages designed for novices are better to use to teach elementary concepts like variables, branching, and loops without having half the class bogged down in missed curly braces and semicolons. It is also much more instructive to come to the realization that goto is Considered Harmful after trying to hack up your own spaghetti code than it is to be insulated from it by a language that doesn't even have a goto, leaving you with only a vague and abstract notion of the virtues of measuring twice and cutting once.

Re:Make it core for Trig students (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 4 months ago | (#45646503)

Bull Turkeys!

Computer programming is no harder than following recipe instructions or assenbling legos or making a sandwich.

I repeat --- computer programming is no harder than making a sandwich.

Being a good computer programmer or a great one is a different story, but idea that exposing average people to very simple computer programming is bad because "they won't get it" is preposterous!

Computer programming is FAR EASIER than either geometry or calculus --- one example would be Visual Basic 6 or hello world in an interpreted language.

If they can talk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646541)

If they can talk, they can program computers.

I'd guess that about half the population (IQ below 100) will never get programming no matter how hard you try to teach them.

Programming computers is easy. Algorithms are a little more difficult but programming, easier than learning to speak.

And when programming advances beyond our primitive typing of code, it'll be even easier.

Yeah, cue the dipshit who will accuse me of equating programming with typing.

Go ahead.

Re:If they can talk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646741)

If they can talk, they can program computers.

If they have a brain, they can program. Problem is... most people aren't talented enough to do so well.

Re:Make it core for Trig students (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#45647067)

I'd guess that about half the population (IQ below 100) will never get programming no matter how hard you try to teach them.

It all depends on how you teach them. Sure, if you show them pages and pages of code they'll be bored, but sit an 8 year old down with a turtle and LOGO and in a few hours he'll be doing all kind of things. "FORWARD 100 RIGHT 90 FORWARD 100." It just makes sense. By the end of the semester they'll have concepts like variables and loops down, which is really all you need for BASIC programming. No Algebra or Geometry necessary.

Re:Make it core for Trig students (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#45647157)

The problem is that if you teach a kid BASIC instead of mathematics, they'll be better than the other kids at algebra.

PC-free households (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#45646299)

If computer science is a requirement, then how will students in households without a general-purpose computer complete their homework assignments? A lot of households rely on iPhones, iPads, and/or game consoles, which don't offer much in the way of end-user programmability.

Re:PC-free households (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646407)

Probably use a computer at school or a library.

I learned how to use a computer without having one at home, or at least to write simple programs.

After-school bus problem (2)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#45646455)

Probably use a computer at school

With the sorry state of student transit in some cities, it might be hard for a student who stays after school to complete his assignments to get home from school. Is Chicago any better?

or a library.

Provided that the other students haven't already reserved all the PCs at the library.

Re:After-school bus problem (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 4 months ago | (#45646547)

Provided that the other students haven't already reserved all the PCs at the library.

And that you can do anything on the PCs anyway. A lot lock them down, and even fewer probably come with compilers or scripting environments.

Re:After-school bus problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45647323)

If any local storage options are exposed to the user, and access to local booting is possible, a usb stick with a livedisk distro is all the kid will need.

He may need clearance, but if I were a CS teacher, creating such a thing would be part of my coursework: first day of class would be building said usb stick with the livedistro, and a writable ext3 partition for /home.

Being foss, I could hand the things out like hotcakes, and it would give the students access to a full dev environment, both for C, and for scripting languages like LUA and python.

Being a read only FS for the kernel env, the things can be basically assured for coursework.

Getting the idea past the heads of the schoolboard that the livedisks can't in any way harm the school's computer equipment might be a trick though. The "you mean they can start a whole different environment by plugging that thing in, and rebooting!? How will we ensure 100% compliance with our draconian policies!?!" Thing would be a tough sell-- some kind of boot security may be needed to keep such people placated. In liu of that, perhaps make 2 such devices the 1st day of class, and have them turned in and returned as homework in an even/odd rotation, and have the CS teacher keep an eye on the kids's home directories and OS configurations. That and proper firewall based web filtering would keep the school in the clear. Would still be a tough sale though.

It doesn't need to support gaming, or other non-educational functions, so foss only driver loadouts would be fine. Vesa framebuffer graphics would be a ok.

Re:PC-free households (4, Interesting)

dmiller1984 (705720) | about 4 months ago | (#45646519)

I teach CS and my students never have homework. One of the benefits of a CS class is the flipped model that allows most, if not all, of the work to be completed in class.

Overages (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#45647065)

One of the benefits of a CS class is the flipped model that allows most, if not all, of the work to be completed in class.

Watching video lessons at home would fix the "all we have is an iPad/Xbox" problems so long as the video lessons are compatible with Safari for iOS and IE for Xbox 360. But it still leaves the problem of needing to buy a computer or device in the first place and subscribe to wired broadband at home, as watching too many videos on a smartphone over 3G/4G will cause the parent to have to pay the carrier when the student incurs a data overage.

Re:PC-free households (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 4 months ago | (#45646567)

It's worse than that. When I was a kid I was interested in programming before I ever had access to computers at school that could support it. I did Visual Basic and Delphi at home on the family PC, and also on the 386 it replaced that I had commandeered. It was at least 3 years before I was in a position to buy my own.

I feel sorry for the coming generation of kids who will know nothing but locked down, hostile devices that will have to convince their parents that they need a real computer, particularly if their parents are computer averse.

Re:PC-free households (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45647095)

I dunno. The truly savvy will FIND ways.

Take for instance, the "family friendly" wii console.
Did you know that even under the latest official firmware, it is painlessly easy to softmod with homebrew channel and bootmii?

Did you also know that even though crippled hardware wise, you can run a reasonably new linux on it? (Seen debian Sid and wheezy based distros of whiite-linux for the wii.) With 2 USB ports and a DVD drive, it's enough. Turn on ZRAM, cross your fingers, and install libre office and mate. It might not be a rocketship, but its better than nothing.

Given the nature of teenagers, if there was a decided need for it, do you really think the kids would NOT help out their disadvantaged friends and follow the braindead easy instructions found online to do it in secret? Given the financially limited nature of the setting, do you really think the parents wouldn't be accutely interested in the "pirate games" option for the fleamarket special they got their kids, and if aware, wouldt actively seek such an option?

I've personally hacked at least 4 wii's for people with my gamestop copy of lego indiana jones, for just the "pirate option" setting. Contrary to what some people in dense cities may believe, 60$ is definately too much to pay in certain parts of the US, where the average pay is in the 30-40k/year for family of 4 neighborhood. They buy clothes for christmas for god's sake, and their kids need some semblance of living like other kids. The 50$ for the banged up used console is about the best they can swing, after lots of scraping. Games though 1$ daily redbox rentals, every once in awhile. (Strongly advocates regional pricing.)

I've also patched together reasonable home PCs from garage sale grade parts for such people, and gone fully legit with suitable desktop linux distros and wine. 20$ well spent at a garage sale can often net a "broken" windows PC with nothing wrong with it except windows.

I didn't learn to do those things from a school class; I learned to do those things by doing it, first as a kid, and now as a young adult. Kids these days are awash in cast-off hardware that can be revived, and kids placed in the sticky spot of needing essential equipment in that environment are more likely to experiment and find such "unexpected" solutions, especially given their budgets.

Re:PC-free households (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646595)

Judging by how the public school system treats poor children already (I'm from Vancouver, Canada so maybe it's not as bad where you are) I assume they will just be told to go fuck themselves and pushed to drop-out.

They won't (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 4 months ago | (#45647265)

The world needs ditch diggers too you know. Increasingly I'm seeing a sink or swim mentality brought on by businesses (and the local Republican run "Chamber of Commerce", which to my surprise is actually just a lobby group for the GOP).

Job requirements of the near future: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646319)

B.S. Computer Science or equiv. No thugs.

CS core? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646325)

...and elevate computer science to a core requirement instead of an elective.

Jumped the shark.

CS is now like shop.

You won Gates and Fuckerberg, you are going to get your minimum wage code monkeys - an unlimited supply.

Don't you people get it? This is NOT about promoting science or education - this is about cheap workers to enrich the billionaires more.

Fuck the poor!

Re:CS core? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45647409)

Fuck the poor!

Are you envious because the poor are having more sex than you are?

Better Idea: Online Entrepreneurship (0)

Profmeister 3000 (926684) | about 4 months ago | (#45646339)

In my experience, you can teach any undergraduate student (and probably most high school students) how to start their own online business, or create a nice online presence for an existing business. It has become relatively easy to weave together techs like WordPress, Google Analytics and AdSense, and PayPal to put up content, see what's working, collect revenue or donations, even do simple A/B testing, without having any previous coding experience.

Once this is working, students can dive into the details of HTML/CSS, or even some PHP, and change things on their already working site. But instead of completing a class exercise, students are tweaking something that is already attracting customers. And you can see the effects of your changes in the web analytics. That's been a powerful motivator for my students to want to learn more about tech.

Logic, not computers (2, Insightful)

mtrachtenberg (67780) | about 4 months ago | (#45646385)

Computer science is a poor substitute for teaching logical argument and mathematical logic. But if they're going to teach computer science, I hope that doesn't mean "how to use Excel."

Excel macros (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#45646469)

That depends on whether they're running the programming class in Excel's macro language because "it's already installed".

Re:Logic, not computers (1)

Prien715 (251944) | about 4 months ago | (#45646635)

Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. ~ paraphrased from the great Edsger W. Dijkstra

Re:Logic, not computers (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | about 4 months ago | (#45646823)

Look at what schools are calling Computer Science / Engineering to boast their names, and you'll find that it includes installing Windows on a whitebox computer and blindly running anti virus software.

These institutions are garbage and should be labeled as such.

Re:Logic, not computers (1)

Prune (557140) | about 4 months ago | (#45647249)

Funny--while you reject the first term of the phrase "computer science", I object to the second.

Re:Logic, not computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646791)

Don't kid yourself: do you think that they have adequate teaching staff on hand for this many students that could properly PASS a 'real' computer science course, much less teach it with any skill? Students will be lucky if they get all of keyboarding, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word covered. The chances of any student at random being shown what a "loop" is, or a "function" I would guess offhand to be 20%.

Re:Logic, not computers (1)

Dynedain (141758) | about 4 months ago | (#45646911)

I'd be happy if everyone knew how to use Excel.

Just understanding that you can automate a ton of pointless crap by using Excel formulas would remove so much trivially stupid data entry work out there.

Re:Logic, not computers (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#45647353)

The HS class for using Excell and Word is called, "Vocational Computer Applications" where I come from. In the 1990's Computer Math was the class you took for BASIC, Pascal, C, etc. Nowadays I think the curriculum is JavaScript, Python, C. In 100 years it'll probably be Neuron.Net, BizLang, and C.

I've invented other languages with the aim to be as close to the metal as possible on modern Von Neumann architectures -- It was basically C that looked different; C is a product of its environment. Only difference was that mine has an optional GC and co-routines (heap functions instead of stack functions). Interesting things computer languages, the Turing complete ones are all equivalent. However, the fundamental operations on fundamental concepts such as data field sets and arrays, lists, etc. are usually all there and the minimal abstraction for them will work something like C, because that's what it is.

Now, how would you go about teaching mathematical logic and problem solving to students? What tools would you use? Would you have them go on field trips to buildings being built and teach them engineering and construction 1st hand? Would you buy each kid an erector set and have them work out how to bridge gaps; Maybe you would have them simple solve logic puzzles using word games. Maybe you've realized that you're just presenting them a set of abstract problems and tasks that need to be solved and accomplished given a set of specific tools. Would you go out and buy all the different toolsets and construct the various problem spaces -- Or, and I mean be as condescending as possible, would you just have them do all theses things every day in a single class using computers, its simulations, and a programming language? Funny thing those logic and mathematic skills -- They're Turing complete; However, the minimal logical abstractions for them to work within is something like a computer, because that's what it is.

Keep in mind that the equivalent of tons of books can be carried as a digital knowledge reference instead of turned back in at the end of the year... Consider that if students can't call up every lesson they've ever been taught on their portable pocket computers, you've been do education wrong. Oh, they should learn with paper and pen? Why? Rocks and sand work just as well. There's a reason we use blackboards, paper, pencil, calculator, computer, laboratory, etc. instead of just the student's mind. Of course if you teach them how to code, they'll be able to port their lessons to every new system they code on.

Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646475)

This is silly. Just a waste of money. Those kids need to be taught manners and morals at home. When they get to school, they need to be taught reading, writing and arithmetic. Then and only then branch out to other subjects.

I'm confused. (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 4 months ago | (#45646523)

You'd think that by 2014 this would be a very obvious requirement for any student to take. Certainly far more useful than chemistry and certainly way sooner than physics.

At the same time, I'm stunned that anyone would setup a situation where students are forced to have this as a requirement. There are many jobs/lifestyles that don't require any skills of this kind, and in which these sorts of skills are actually detrimental to those industries.

Basically, this looks a lot like 1980's algebra. Really incredibly valuable in 10% of the highest and most popular industries, and hence being pushed into schools. The moment that balance changes, we'll have another useless calculus on our hands.

Re:I'm confused. (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 4 months ago | (#45646539)

Basically, once again, the education system is a good 20 years behind the curve. Not surprising at all. It likes to pump out blue-collar workers. It always has.

Taught by whom? (2)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 4 months ago | (#45646603)

CPS has a big budget problem, just like the rest of Illinois. CPS also has a very poor relationship with the public teachers union, the teachers went on strike last year and shut the district down.

Where exactly is CPS going to find people who are passionate and knowledgeable about CS who also want to teach in a public district in Illinois? Stipends and training are nice but I don't feel like forcing students to take a CS course, taught by a teacher who may have no real experience in CS, is going to encourage anyone already not determined to go to university for CS to change their mind. It may actually dissuade potential CS majors.

Re:Taught by whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646761)

Well, say you just got laid off from a well-paying job. You could easily get an online CS masters from Ga. Tech., move to Chicago, get an emergency credential, and start teaching programming in high school. A school with 1000 students and class size of 30 would require at least two programming teachers. Larger schools will even have CS departments! Dude!

Re:Taught by whom? (1)

ladydi89 (1159055) | about 4 months ago | (#45647295)

This is a huge problem in all of education. You don't teach because you want to get rich on an 8-5 job. It is really hard to find people who are good at programming/networking/Information systems/apps/DB's etc who are also good at teaching and have the desire to teach.

Re:Taught by whom? (3, Interesting)

GlobalEcho (26240) | about 4 months ago | (#45647329)

CPS pays an average of just under $75K to teachers, which is more than most private schools do. Along with the extra job security and (promised if not delivered) pensions, that makes the teaching positions attractive to quite a few people. The teachers I know also feel good about dedicating their professional lives to students in CPS, who are generally in need of every bit of help they can get.

If I had made a bundle in the dot com bubble or something, I could see myself teaching CS in CPS. Or at least trying -- I teach grad school and don't know if I have the personality for younger students.

Guangdong Electric Appliance Research Institute (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 4 months ago | (#45646607)

Chairman Mao recognized that China was behind the west, and tried to remedy this by setting up government "insitutes" to study "electronic appliances". It was just another brick in the wall. China didn't develop until it decided to "leave those kids alone" under Deng Tsia Ping.

ah, computer science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45646875)

Kinda off topic but: I wanted to get a degree in CS at George Mason University but they program requires a lot of mathematics. I got a business degree instead.

Oh the humanity (2)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 4 months ago | (#45646999)

I can just see the courses my school would have offered. Textbooks full of code that is bug ridden. Teachers that would not understand advanced programming and thus penalize awesome programmers that "colored outside the lines" and used advanced programming. I could see some student using a singleton instead of a global and having the teacher say "Wrong a global would have been cleaner." Even if you hate singletons, global are worse.

Then I could see the technology becoming either a buzzword bingo or really dated. So it would be intro to perl, visual basic, and power builder. Or an intro to node.js, ruby, and haskell.

But the second worst upon worst would be that companies would "freely" donate to the school system so that the kids would become little MSDN/Oracle/Salesforce drones.

The worst of worst would be that they would suck all the fun out of it; Every single drop. So instead of teaching them something relevant such as making a video game, an Arduino robot, or creating a tool for interacting with pintrest/twiter/vine etc. They would have them doing the age old command line enter your age and find out how old you are in dog years crap.

I have watched my nephews making crap in Unity3D and they are forcing themselves to learn programming. Much is copy and paste code then hammer it until it works. This is not going to create a firm foundation but if after this they took a rapid introduction to programming course that showed them how to do things correctly they would realize that many of their bad habits had a cure. But they wouldn't have to learn the underlying philosophy that makes you really grok programming which is something that most intro courses completely fail at. I have talked to many people who have just passed a university programming course and they usually don't know the difference between a float and an int. (Usually Java based courses so they should know).

I'm not saying that CS in highschool is a bad idea but that CS is for a certain type of person. You either love it or it is purely a chore. It seems that the goal is to expose tonnes of people to CS and hope that a few end up joining our little cult. So my suggestion is to create for credit computer/engineering clubs. The idea would be to have the tools and a mentor who would encourage independent study and small group projects. This way someone who has been doing Arduino assembly since grade 8 would be able to attempt something fantastic while someone else who had failed to compile Hello World and still loved it would also have a place that welcomed them. Trying to have a standard curriculum is just going to annoy everybody and only result in wasted time and tears; and maybe even a worse outcome as the person who wants to make an app is just going to get pissed off writing the usual command line garbage. Personally I would much rather make a crappy buggy app than a perfect command line thing on my first go.

Math scores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45647041)

I bet you guys this will increase test scores in math noticeably, or at least interest in math, if only because programming makes it seem more useful.

More than Office and Typing - EXCITE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45647123)

One of the largest issues in Washington state was that the computer classes were largely funded by MS, as such there was some clause or agreement that they would teach MS' Office products. Sure its good to know the basics but these teachers took it too far. The majority did not need to be certified, they just need to get a foot hold on each program and understand the capabilities so they can use it efficiently when needed.

Offering typing and MS Office only is NOT GOOD! Like others have said it will turn away many students as they are either uninterested or already proficient. The ideal would be to have those classes but for a basic level. Offer coding classes, basic networking, things that will excite young minds.

Many kids who get into coding soon find out that typing is essential and will be more inclined to improve their typing skills.

As far as affording good teachers, who says that they have to have a CS degree? I firmly believe that a good teacher would show kids how to find answers via Google or Bing. Do you know how many people can't effectively refine a search on google? It's maddening. A good teacher attempting to show kids basic programming should have some familiarity, but in reality they should be prepping them for their continued education, i.e. show them how to find more advanced material. Introduce them to MIT and other classes that have been recorded and posted online. I think the key here is to find things that interest kids. Why? because you have to convince them that CS is awesome but it does require knowing how to read, write, and of course math.

I think the biggest problems coming from a small college is that the CS program was all about programming and then some more programming. This turned a lot of students away from CS. Had we offered networking, or some other aspect of computer science then maybe we may have retained more students in the CS program.

Just what we need, more bad coders.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45647159)

I work with highly paid "professionals" and at least half of them suck. The H1B thing is such a farce as well before it became so huge at least the majority of professional developers were decent, most H1B holders are less competent than the self taught or community college people. These companies need coders, guess what offer to train people, surely they can find some of the young unemployed americans who might be motivated if given an opportunity. How about all of the nonsense they make senior develops do in most places unrelated to technology. It's a crock the problem is not, too few H1B visa, the problem is companies don't want to invest in employees, apprentices, interns, clerical people.... Where I work I sit next to a guy who is a fairly specialized developer who frequently wastes tons of time filling out forms, etc. Meanwhile his team cannot find people to hire...his productivity could be higher but because the company has tons of policies and red tape he wastes time doing tasks a clerical person could do to the tune of 200k per year. Teach comp sci, not programming, teach people to think, how things work, etc(any monkey can code, thinking and design are the distinction). Fix your technical shortages by hiring interns, young people, apprentices, train them and give them the less difficult and more mundane tasks, let them learn from senior devs/rockstars. Why should a senior developer earning big money be writing trivial code? I'm paid $125 an hour to for the most part write mundane code, less than 10% of my time is spent doing anything challenging yet they only want to hire brilliant people or else outsource/offshore to the worst...I mean cheapest developers known to man.

They are removing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45647201)

1) civics
2) math
3) art
4) music
5) nothing removed

All kids? (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 4 months ago | (#45647347)

So, we're wanting to teach all kids how to program. I wonder what this will do to the "hacker" community. This is a shit-storm waiting to happen. Between teachers not knowing jack about computers to the corporate infrastructure that will (attempt to) be laid down, this is just digging further into the can of worms that isn't working already.

I see someday a war of minds, maybe very near in the future. And interestingly enough, I think the farmers will win.

So what is the syllabus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45647397)

So they are using the term "Computer Science", and within high school. So exactly what are they teaching? They teach 'computers' in schools now, and its a warmed over version of a multi-billionaires office suite. That's not really 'Computer Science' now, is it? Would they actually be taking a watered down introduction to programming course? Would at least BASIC be taught? It would be useful if students at least had an idea of how computers do what they do. It would go a long way to end the luddism most people have w.r.t. the technology they use. It would go a long way to giving them a clue as to how things happen. Why do I get a feeling though, that we will see 'advanced office suite' and nothing else?

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