To ensure that every child can learn the skills required to work in New York City’s fast-growing technology sector, Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce on Wednesday that within 10 years all of the city’s public schools will be required to offer computer science to all students.Meeting that goal will present major challenges, mostly in training enough teachers. There is no state teacher certification in computer science, and no pipeline of computer science teachers coming out of college. Fewer than 10 percent of city schools currently offer any form of computer science education, and only 1 percent of students receive it, according to estimates by the city’s Department of Education.Computer science will not become a graduation requirement, and middle and high schools may choose to offer it only as an elective.But the goal is for all students, even those in elementary school and those in the poorest neighborhoods, to have some exposure to computer science, whether building robots or learning to use basic programming languages like Scratch, which was devised by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to teach young children the rudiments of coding.
You know what some seniors asked me for last week while I was introducing them to financial aid?
A home economics class.
You know, where you learn how to cook, clean, sew, fix stuff, balance your checkbook, do your taxes, figure out your credit card statement - you know, the kind of stuff many people can't do anymore.
Mandating computer science is swell and I know "coding" is all the rage, but as we keep adding more and more mandates to the school day, it seems like students can do less and less to take care of themselves.
By all means, offer computer science to every student because it's such a fast-growing career and it's spaceage and whatever, but let's not forget the basic stuff of life too.
Seriously, the kids are asking for it.
While we're adding robots and computer programming. while we're focusing on Common Core and argumentative writing, how about bringing back home economics too?
Doesn't have to be a big thing - maybe just a half credit stuck in somewhere.
I know it would really help many students.