Anda di halaman 1dari 8

Phan 1

Raymond Phan
Gango 5
5 October 2015
The Final Step for Americas Industry: Computer Science
Ever since the adoption of personal computers in the 1980s, Americans have integrated
these to their lifestyle without understanding the fundamentals of computers: computer science.
As of today, large information technology companies such as Google and Microsoft dominate the
global market. Because of this growth in computer technology and the peoples lack of
knowledge of computers, these immense corporations are able to take over the market with no
opposition. The U.S. Department of Education has done little to nothing to implement a
curriculum that will adapt to todays high-tech market. Unfortunately, this power is left to the
state governments, and as of late, a very small percentage of state education departments have
done anything to carry out a method to solve this deficiency. In order to compensate for this
setback, there needs to be a consensus of the American people to accept the importance of
computer science. By implementing a proper program for computer science throughout the entire
country, the costs of integration in public schools will be balanced from its effects. From
developing new problem-solving methods to taking advantage of the IT industrys jobs, allowing
students to be exposed to coding at an early age has a sufficient amount of benefits.
Computer science is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its
applications, which uses logical processing and methodical procedures. The official use of
computer science dates back to the creation of modern computers in the 1950s. It has been used
in a multitude of applications, such as computer programming, mathematical algorithms,

Phan 2
architecture, etc. Coding, a part of computer programming, is the building blocks of all digital
programs used in computers. It uses computer science in order to process various applications
into a logical, congruent pack that is easily understandable for others to use, much like equations
in mathematics (Computer Science).
The issue with not understanding how to code is that this lowers the chances of
potential students willing to delve into this field. As a result, this hinders the progress of this
growing industry since less students mean less workers. The major obstacle in implementing a
proper computer science program in public schools is the lack of consent of the people. Based on
how few states have recognized the importance of coding, there is very little demand of a
computer science program in public schools. Because of this absence in recognition, it creates a
domino effect. Schools do not acknowledge it as a proper course; therefore, it does not offer
computer science certification in order to insure teacher have proper understanding. As a result,
students are left to their teachers to influence them, which more likely than not will dwindle the
number of college students in computer science (Lewis).
While there are issues concerning the practicality of the current system for computer
science classes, some school districts have decided to improve it to make it better for students.
For example, the New York City Department of Education, the largest school system in the
country, has become the most active in ensuring computer science classes in its district. By 2025,
it has promised to offer computer science courses for 1.1 million students, in elementary
through high school, which will cost approximately $81 million over the next 10 years (Smith).
Unlike other school systems in the country, the NYCDOE believes computer science is the
defining skill of the 21st century (Smith). As a result, the program offers trained instructors to
be able to teach young students to code. The goal for New York City is to give the students

Phan 3
some exposure to computer science, whether building robots or learning to use basic
programming languages (Taylor and Miller). The major effect of the NYCDOEs actions is the
acceptance of understanding the importance of coding for young children.
In the San Francisco school district, the approach is slightly different. While they are
generally attempting the same act as NYCDOEs plan, San Franciscos school district is focusing
on implementing this program to a younger generation. Currently in this district, Computer
science classes are available to all students K-12; however, they are only exposed to a certain
degree. For high school students, 5 percent or less of the students decide to take them, yet for
lower grades, the percent of students exposed to computer science is practically zero ("Computer
Classes Get Boost in Calif. District"). By introducing coding to younger students, it allows them
to be more accustomed to the fundamentals, allowing for more room for development. This
action can be beneficial to the deficit of computer science workers as the more a person is
exposed to code, the easier it will be to excel in such a field.
Compared to both of these school districts, Chicago has exceeded them by pledging to
make a yearlong computer science course a high school graduation requirement by 2018 (Taylor
and Miller). By promising this action, Chicago has made the most progress in advancing the
school systems curriculum for the new technological era.
Although some school districts are working to improve the current situation, there needs
to be more direct methods to teaching the people the importance of code, such in the case of
Code.org. A nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding access to computer science, Code.org
has made a goal to help all who are willing to learn to code. By providing a free service to the
public, Code.org has allowed those without proper access to computer science courses to learn

Phan 4
coding. In a traditional computer science course, students would be taught basic functions of
code by a teacher, who may or may not be qualified. In Code.org, anyone can access the website
and follow step-by-step instructions that are similar to that of a traditional class.
While this website is free and interactive in its teaching, the major issuing belittling
Code.orgs growth is lack of actual users compared to potential users. In a 2013 survey
conducted by the Pew Research Center, 83% of US households own a personal computer, and
73% has broadband internet connection (Lee and Cohn). With over millions of people able to
partake in Code.orgs program, there are only 6 million registered users that are not necessarily
from the US, which is a mere fraction to the percent of Americans who own a computer.
Code.org has the potential to open computer science to many people who are either too late to
take it in school or have barely discovered it. Unfortunately, Code.org can only offer its program
to those who are informed of its existence, since there is no proper advertisement at this time.
As a result, this gives potential students to discover coding with only two options:
through proper schooling or through online courses like Code.org, which leaves the rest of the
country to be uninformed of computer science. By limiting the access to learn coding to only two
means, it diminishes a great amount of people who would have been interested in computer
science. In order to excel in teaching students the importance of computer science, there needs to
be more support in the government as well as need to reform the current curriculum to
implement computer science (Busteed).
As this issue persists in America, a high number of jobs available in this field are
unfulfilled every year. For an average computer programmer in 2010, the median annual wage
was $71, 380. Most of these positions offered require no work experience and only need prior

Phan 5
knowledge of coding (Computer Programmers). If the government were to implement a proper
curriculum for coding, it would give more students a chance to engage in this field. In effect, the
predicted employment increase of 12 percent by 2020 would be much higher.
While the field of computer programming offers many incentives for students and the
government to expand this program, the main issue of this stems from the lack of teachers
willing to institute a viable curriculum. Ever since its implementation in some school systems,
computer science classes offer very little in terms of educational value. Instead of educating
students about the basics of computer science and coding along with the importance of
understanding its effect in society, teachers are left to just training them to use various software
products that will become obsolete in a short time due to advancing technology (Naughton).
They are usually just simple books on how to code along with access to open source software
that provides nothing more than information on coding. These materials given to most computer
programming teachers do not allow the students to develop the skills that computer science is
supposed to exude, such as logical reasoning and problem solving.
Another concern that affects the number of qualified teachers is the lack of incentive for
teacher. In regards to the amount of graduates in Computer Science, many find more lucrative
occupations in the industry than teaching (Taylor and Miller). Because of the plentiful openings
for programming jobs, there is not enough incentive to take a teaching position.
Even in the case of San Francisco, NYC, and Chicagos school districts, the number of
qualified teachers is sparse. According to James Ryan, the San Francisco school district
executive director for STEM, one of the largest barriers is having enough adults who can teach
this at a rich and rigorous level ("Computer Classes Get Boost in Calif. District"). In NYC,

Phan 6
Flatiron School, an independent school focused on providing training in software coding, is
aiding by expanding its scholarship training program from 50 to 500 teachers (Smith). There
are so little qualified teachers available in this field at the moment that the process to educate the
youth will only take longer without a boost from the government.
The solution to this crisis is to address this issue to the federal government. Because there
is such a great deficiency of this program in a majority of the states, federal assistance is
necessary in order to ensure its implementation. Unfortunately, it has been lacking in putting
support for education, let alone for computer science. Compared to other countries, the US has
been inadequate in providing opportunities for the youth in computer programming. In Britain,
there is already an established ICT (Information and Communication Technology) education
system, albeit a flawed one, that gives its students the basics of coding (Naughton). In order to
compete with the world market in this rising industry, the US needs to be more involved in
providing opportunities for student in public schools.
With the rising industry of computer programming and a plethora of lucrative jobs for
people, computer science should be more focused in public education than it is currently. The
demand is too high to allow this to be unnoticed. While some school systems and educational
companies are taking action to aid in the increase of potential computer programmers, it is not
enough. There is not enough citizens in the US that understand the importance of improving the
computer programming industry in America. To the few who take interest in the field, it is
unfortunate that, today, there is not enough qualified programmers willing to teach the youth.
While many believe it should be mandatory in public education, the majority of citizens do not
find it necessary to implement courses that do not affect them. However, they do not understand
that computer programming has the most impact in the market today. If the American people

Phan 7
desire a better society, they need to take part in innovating the industry that contributes more
than any other sector.

Phan 8
Works Cited
Busteed, Brandon. "Americans Agree Computer Science Is Importantbut Only One-Quarter of
US Schools Teach It." Quartz. Quartz, 15 Sept. 2015. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.
"Computer Classes Get Boost in Calif. District." Education Week. 05 Aug. 2015. eLibrary. Web.
04 Oct. 2015.
"Computer Programmers." Occupational Outlook Handbook 2012-2013. 2012. eLibrary. Web.
04 Oct. 2015.
"Computer Science." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Oct. 2015. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.
Lee, Rainie, and Cohn D'Vera. "Census: Computer Ownership, Internet Connection Varies
Widely across U.S." Pew Research Center. Pew Research Center, 19 Sept. 2014. Web. 5
Oct. 2015.
Lewis, Dan. "Computer Science: It's Where the Jobs Are, but Schools Don't Teach It." San Jose
Mercury News. San Jose Mercury News, 12 Sept. 2014. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.
Naughton, John. "Why All Our Kids Should Be Taught How to Code." The Guardian. The
Guardian, 31 Mar. 2012. Web. 10 Sept. 2015.
Smith, D. Frank. "The 'Grand Experiment' Behind NYC Schools' New Computer Science
Program." EdTech. EdTech, 22 Sept. 2015. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.
Taylor, Kate, and Claire Miller. "De Blasio to Announce 10-Year Deadline to Offer Computer
Science to All Students." The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Sept. 2015.
Web. 6 Oct. 2015.