“Education is about preparing kids for life, and public education is about helping people have equal opportunity, helping those who don’t have as much money have a more level playing field,” said Ali Partovi, co-founder of Code.org, in an interview at the Big Ideas Fest a few months ago.
Partovi has an ambitious goal: To get public high schools to offer computer programming classes — not just as an elective, but as a science requirement. “It’s absolutely relevant for public education to embrace computer science,” he said. “I can’t think of any other science that would better prepare you for life in the 21st century.”
Partovi’s goal is being realized in pockets around the country. Through efforts like Hour of Code, a viral online campaign to promote coding, more than 20,000 teachers have started adding programming lessons, which Code.org for which offers free classes. What’s more, “30 school districts, including New York City and Chicago, have agreed to add coding classes in the fall, mainly in high schools but in lower grades, too. And policy makers in nine states have begun awarding the same credits for computer science classes that they do for basic math and science courses, rather than treating them as electives,” according to an article in the New York Times.