Exclusive to Just In Print from White House, Washington Computer Science For All

Megan Smith, The White House info@mail.whitehouse.gov to JUST IN PRINT

Growing up in Buffalo, New York, I was lucky to have teachers in my local public school who found creative and exciting ways to introduce me to all of the STEM (science, tech, engineering and math) disciplines. Hands-on experiences with innovative technology built my confidence and skills for the future and helped me understand that STEM, especially computer science, could be used to make the world a better place.
And now, we have the chance to work together to expand that hands-on learning experience to all children across America, with President Obama’s new Computer Science for All (#CSforAll) initiative.
The President’s bold new proposal will empower students from kindergarten through high school to learn computer science, equipping them with the analytical skills they need to be creators in the digital economy, not just consumers, and to apply their passion and enthusiasm to solving problems using technology.
The United States has been home to so many amazing digital inventions — from Silicon Valley to its counterparts like Austin, Boston, Eastern Kentucky, Louisville, Boise, Salt Lake, Atlanta, and more. Last year, there were more than 600,000 high-paying jobs across a variety of industries in the United States that were unfilled, and by 2018, 51 percent of all STEM jobs are projected to be in CS-related fields.
Our economy and our children’s futures can’t afford to wait.
Elementary students in Baltimore, Maryland with the author.
We’ve made real progress, but we have a lot of work left to do. In 22 states, computer science still doesn’t count toward high school graduation requirements for math or science, and 75% of schools don’t yet offer a single high-quality computer science course. Plus, stereotypes perpetuated by media portrayals, unconscious bias, the unsung history of CS heroes like Grace Hopper, and outdated classroom materials often discourage many from taking these courses — they often ‘opt-out’ of CS even when it is offered.
The good news is innovators in education are already solving these challenges and leading the way all over the country. We recently recognized just a handful of these Americans at the White House Champions of Change for Computer Science Education event. These students, teachers, and community leaders are proving what’s possible, like the Spanish teacher in Queens who co-created a “Digital Dance” experience, bringing code into school dances. Or the high school and college students who tutor their younger peers in these skills, solidifying their own knowledge through mentoring.
As a kid, I was lucky to be exposed to CS — but a lot of my generation didn’t get that chance. Let’s get all-hands-on-deck to make sure every child is learning to code as a new ‘basic’ skill — so they can all be part of the next generation of American ingenuity, problem solving, adventure, and deep economic impact.
Find out how you can get involved today, whether you are a student, teacher, techie or an interested citizen. There’s something we all can do.
Megan Smith
U.S. Chief Technology Officer

An Investment in Knowledge Pays the Best Interest
Benjamin Franklin
Taking cue from it, outgoing President Obama is upto … The President’s initiative calls for:
$4 billion in funding for states and $100 million directly for school districts in his forthcoming Budget to expand K-12 CS by training teachers, expanding access to high-quality instructional materials, and building effective regional partnerships.
$135 million in Computer Science funding to become available starting this year from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Corporation for National And Community Service (CNCS)
Expanding access to prior NSF supported programs and professional learning communities through their CS10k Initiative that led to the creation of more inclusive and accessible CS curriculum including Exploring CS and Advanced Placement (AP) CS Principles among others.
Involving even more governors, mayors, and education leaders to help boost CS following the leadership of states like Delaware, Hawaii, Washington, Arkansas, and more than 30 school districts that have already begun to expand CS opportunities.
Engaging CEOs, philanthropists, creative media, technology, and education professionals to deepen their CS commitments. More than 50 organizations are making commitments, learn more and get involved and make a commitment here.
CS For All
Computer Science for All is the President’s bold new initiative to empower all American students from kindergarten through high school to learn computer science and be equipped with the computational thinking skills they need to be creators in the digital economy, not just consumers, and to be active citizens in our technology-driven world. Our economy is rapidly shifting, and both educators and business leaders are increasingly recognizing that computer science (CS) is a “new basic” skill necessary for economic opportunity and social mobility.
CS for All builds on efforts already being led by parents, teachers, school districts, states, and private sector leaders from across the country.
In the coming years, we should build on that progress, by … offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one.
President Obama in his 2016 State of the Union Address

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