5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 13, 2016 4:48 AM by mirraaahh

    Every child should have the opportunity to learn the basics in CS....Open Letter


      Every student in America should have this opportunity to learn the basics in computer science.  On 4/26/16 the CEOs of America's largest companies joined 28 governors - from both parties - and top K-12 leaders, in an unprecedented union. The goal was to ask for funding for every student in every school to have an opportunity to learn computer science.  http://change.org/computerscience.

      The thought behind the movement is that computer science can be the great equalizer. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

      If you were able to attend this union, what would you tell Congress?

      What are you doing to provide computer science with your students or to promote the foundational elements of computer science with students?  What programs and or movements is your school, district, state, country initiating.

      See letter to Congress below...

      Dear Members of Congress and fellow Americans, As business leaders, elected officials, educators, and members of the public, we join forces to deliver a bipartisan message about opportunity and the American Dream. Technology is transforming society at an unprecedented rate. Whether it’s smartphones or social networks, self-driving cars or personalized medicine, nothing embodies the American Dream so much as the opportunity to change or even reinvent the world with technology. And participating in this world requires access to computer science in our schools. We ask you to provide funding for every student in every school to have an opportunity to learn computer science. Support for this idea is sweeping our nation. Ninety percent of parents want their children to have access to computer science education at school, and teachers agree. They know that technology opens doors. A hundred thousand teachers have taken matters into their own hands and already begun teaching computer science. Over 100 school districts are rolling out courses, from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles, from Miami to Las Vegas. Twenty states have passed policies and are now looking to support professional training for new computer science teachers. Private donors have collectively committed tens of millions of dollars to solving this problem, including $48 million of new commitments announced today by many of the undersigned. Despite this groundswell, three-quarters of U.S. schools do not offer meaningful computer science courses. At a time when every industry in every state is impacted by advances in computer technology, our schools should give all students the opportunity to understand how this technology works, to learn how to be creators, coders, and makers — not just consumers.  Instead, what is increasingly a basic skill is only available to the lucky few, leaving most students behind, particularly students of color and girls. How is this acceptable? America leads the world in technology. We invented the personal computer, the Internet, e-commerce, social networking, and the smartphone. This is our chance to position the next generation to participate in the new American Dream. Not only does computer science provide every student foundational knowledge, it also leads to the highest-paying, fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. economy. There are currently over 500,000 open computing jobs, in every sector, from manufacturing to banking, from agriculture to healthcare, but only 50,000 computer science graduates a year. Whether a student aspires to be a software engineer, or if she just wants a well-rounded education in today’s changing world, access to computer science in school is an economic imperative for our nation to remain competitive. And with the growing threat of cyber warfare, this is even a critical matter of national security. Despite this growing need, targeted federal funding to carry out these efforts in classrooms is virtually non-existent. This bipartisan issue can be addressed without growing the federal budget. We urge you to amplify and accelerate the local efforts in classrooms, unlock opportunity in every state, and give an answer to all the parents and teachers who believe that every student, in every school, should have a chance to learn computer science.

      Business Leaders
      Arne Sorenson, CEO, Marriott
      Barry Diller, Chairman, IAC and Expedia
      Bill and Melinda Gates
      Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard
      Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
      Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb
      Brian Cornell, Chairman and CEO, Target
      Doug McMillon, CEO, Walmart
      Daniel Schulman, CEO, Paypal. Chairman, Symantec
      Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Expedia
      Devin Wenig, CEO, eBay
      Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox
      Doug Parker, Chairman and CEO, American Airlines
      Edward Breen, Chairman and CEO, DuPont
      Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Alphabet, Inc.
      Ginni Rometty, Chairman and CEO, IBM
      Grant Verstandig, CEO, Rally Health
      Herb Allen, President, Allen & Company
      Jack Dorsey, CEO, Twitter and Square
      James Murdoch, CEO, 21st Century Fox
      James P. Gorman, Chairman and CEO, Morgan Stanley
      Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO, Amazon
      Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp
      Jessica Alba, CEO, The Honest Company
      Joe Lonsdale, Partner, 8VC. Founder, Palantir
      John Donahoe, Chairman, Paypal
      John Battelle, Chairman and CEO, NewCo
      Julie Sweet, Chief Executive, Accenture North America
      Larry Ellison
      Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock
      Lowell McAdam, Chairman and CEO, Verizon
      Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce
      Mark Cuban, Owner, Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres
      Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and CEO, Facebook
      Rami Rahim, CEO, Juniper Networks
      Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO, AT&T
      Reid Hoffman, Chairman, LinkedIn
      Rich Barton, Chairman, Zillow
      Richard Anderson, CEO, Delta Airlines
      Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company
      Sam Altman, President, Y Combinator
      Samuel Allen, Chairman and CEO, John Deere
      Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
      Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
      Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman and CEO, Macy's, Inc
      Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
      Vishal Sikka, CEO, Infosys


      Asa Hutchinson, Governor, Arkansas (R)
      Brian Sandoval, Governor, Nevada (R)
      C.L. "Butch" Otter, Governor, Idaho (R)
      Charlie Baker, Governor, Massachusetts (R)
      Dannell P. Malloy, Governor, Connecticut (D)
      David Y. Ige, Governor, Hawaii (D)
      Doug Ducey, Governor, Arizona (R)
      Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor, West Virginia (D)
      Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor, California (D)
      Gina M. Raimondo, Governor, Rhode Island (D)
      Jack Dalrymple, Governor, North Dakota (R)
      Jack Markell, Governor, Delaware (D)
      Jay Inslee, Governor, Washington (D)
      John Hickenlooper, Governor, Colorado (D)
      Kate Brown, Governor, Oregon (D)
      Maggie Hassan, Governor, New Hampshire (D)
      Mark Dayton, Governor, Minnesota (D)
      Mary Fallin, Governor, Oklahoma (R)
      Matt Bevin, Governor, Kentucky (R)
      Matt Mead, Governor, Wyoming (R)
      Mike Pence, Governor, Indiana (R)
      Peter Shumlin, Governor, Vermont (D)
      Phil Bryant, Governor, Mississippi (R)
      Rick Snyder, Governor, Michigan (R)
      Steve Bullock, Governor, Montana (D)
      Susana Martinez, Governor, New Mexico (R)
      Terry Branstad, Governor, Iowa (R)
      Terry McAuliffe, Governor, Virginia (D)


      K-12 Leaders
      Antwan Wilson, Superintendent, Oakland
      Bob Runcie, Superintendent, Broward County Public Schools
      Carmen Fariña, Chancellor, NYC Department of Education
      Forrest Claypool, CEO, Chicago Public Schools
      Kimberly Hill, Superintendent, Charles County Public Schools
      Michelle King, Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified
      Pat Skorkowsky, Superintendent, Clark County School District
      Richard Carranza, Superintendent, San Francisco Unified
      Susan Enfield, Superintendent, Highline Public Schools
      Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent, California


      Education / Nonprofit
      Bobby Schnabel, CEO, Association for Computing Machinery
      Cornell Brooks, President and CEO, NAACP
      Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, AASA, The School
      Superintendents Association
      David Coleman, CEO, College Board
      Elisa Villanueva Beard, CEO, Teach For America
      Gail Connelly, ED, National Association of Elementary School Principals
      Hadi Partovi, CEO, Code.org
      Judy Vredenburgh, President and CEO, Girls Inc.
      Lee Hood, MD, PhD, President, Institute for Systems Biology. Co-founder, Amgen
      Linda D. Hallman, CEO, American Association of University Women
      Lucy Sanders, CEO, National Center for Women and IT
      Mark Nelson, Executive Director, CS Teachers Association
      Matthew Randazzo, CEO, National Math & Science Initiative
      Peggy Brookins, CEO, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
      Telle Whitney, CEO, Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology
      Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director, National School Boards Association
      Vince Bertram, CEO, Project Lead The Way

        • Re: Every child should have the opportunity to learn the basics in CS....Open Letter

          Computer Science can be the great equalizer because it helps to teach our students to think.  Quite simply, the art of thinking for yourself and thinking "out of the box" has been lost in the past few years of canned programs to teach curriculum.  By second grade, many of our students don't want to give their answer, they want to give the right answer, or the one we want to hear.  Although, that is great for state testing, that does not help us produce the thinkers we are going to need to keep the innovation in this country moving forward.  It is not just about coding the angry birds on code.org. It is about computational thinking, breaking down problems, brainstorming and trying new solutions.  Failing, learning from that failure and not being afraid to try again and possibly fail again!  We are shaping the minds of the next generation of #thinkers!  I, for one, am excited about that...every single day.

          • Re: Every child should have the opportunity to learn the basics in CS....Open Letter

            Computing is an equalizer, especially once all primary schools start working with an IT-integrated curriculum. In Germany, where I work as a teacher and Head of IT, computing ('Informatik') is still seen as the domain of upper secondary students and 'Informatik Lehrer'. Most students still don't learn any specific IT-skills, let alone computer science at a young age. Since a few years, digital skills have been included in the general Berlin curriculum (Rahmenlehrplan), but these are usually very basic and generally don't extend beyond asking the students to create a PowerPoint presentation (without teaching them how to actually do that properly) or to create a table in Excel.


            I'm a fan of the UK Computing At School curriculum, which is intended for K-12, starting in year one and building up those necessary computing skills, from year to year. It is a grassroots programme, which has the backing of the British Computing Society and several large corporations. I believe that computer science needs to be introduced at Primary Schools and that students deserve a holistic curriculum. I also believe that teachers do not have to have a Master in Computer Science before they can teach it; there are plenty of teachers with sufficient IT skills, who are curious enough to learn alongside their students. CAS offers a CS curriculum, great resources, lesson ideas and collaboration possibilities (for free). Online training resources have never been better; just look at Python or HTML courses at Khan Academy and Code.org, or Computing 101 at Stanford University - they are all online, interactive and user-friendly. When I can do it, many people can .


            Only a few weeks ago I set up the Berlin Hub for CAS (Computing At School) and, with the support of likeminded professionals from inside and outside the teaching sector, am hoping to introduce Computing in our and other primary and secondary schools soon. Anyone in Berlin or Germany who would like to support this push for Computing At School (private sector and teachers alike); do join!

            • Re: Every child should have the opportunity to learn the basics in CS....Open Letter

              Every student should have the opportunity to learn the basics in CS because this will serve as their foundation  as they go along with complex terms and tasks.

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