By Julia Freeland
This week marks National Computer Science Education Week. Not only are K–12 schools, parents, and leaders around the country engaged in activities like the Hour of Code, but the week is also a chance for advocacy groups like code.org to highlight the beleaguered state of computer science education in America. For example, currently only around five to 10 percent of schools offer AP computer science, and 25 states still don’t allow students to count computer science courses toward high school graduation.
Given the demand for software skills in the labor market, there’s been a lot of fanfare in recent years around seeding opportunities to boost young people’s computer science skills—the Hour of Code, the emergence of numerous coding boot camps, and edX’s very popular Harvard MOOC, CS50, to name a few. I’ve found that most stories about computer science education focus on the skills gap that new programs stand to fill; they talk about coding as a new language that students will need to learn in order to navigate the 21st century world.