White House Announces New Computer Science Education Initiatives

It’s a well-known fact that the sooner you introduce your child to a new language, the better. Before the age of 10 is the ideal time frame. However, this time frame applies to more than just foreign languages. For instance, computer science skills are being taught at younger ages, a protocol which the White House has renewed its dedication to.

The Obama administration has recently outlined new initiatives by The National Science Foundation, which has allocated $20 million for computer science education in 2017, and the National Science and Technology Council, which plans to create guidelines to assist ongoing federal efforts to “support the integration of computer science and computational thinking into K–12 education.”

In addition to the White House’s efforts to provide more support for computer science education, over 250 organizations across the country have renewed commitments to improving computer science education in K-12 schools.

Rhode Island, in particular, has been moving quickly with its plan to create computer science programs for every public school in the state. Governor Raimondo’s plan has seen such success that it drew U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. to the state on December 5 to help celebrate Computer Science Education Week.

Raimondo announced her plan for computer science education nine months ago. As a result of increased efforts to bring computer science education to schools, 181 out of 306 public schools in Rhode Island now have computer science courses.

The overarching goal of this project is to have a computer science course implemented in every public school for Kindergarten through grade 12 by December of 2017. Raimondo explained that by 2020 there will be a significant need to fill computer science jobs and that in order to fill them, students must be exposed to the qualifications early on.

U.S. Senator Jack Reed explained that “There’s no way you’re going to escape computers,” and that even in manual labor, computer sciences are invaluable to students.

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