Federal Law Puts Computer Science on Par With Subjects Like Math and English

Last month, the words “computer science” were included in the rewrite of the U.S. education policy (in the new Every Student Succeeds Act). It’s been a long time coming — computer science education supporters have spent six years working with lawmakers to get those provisions added. Jacob Demmit (@jdemmitt) covered the news in an article for GeekWire titled, President Obama signs law that designates computer science as part of a ‘well-rounded education. This inclusion puts computer science on equal footing with other subjects when state and local policymakers decide how to distribute federal funds. “That means teachers will have access to federal dollars for career development programs, and schools will have more incentive than ever to include computer science in the curriculum,” wrote Demmit. This is the first time that computer science is included on the bill, which defines the subjects that make up a well-rounded education.

In an article covering the news, by Yoree Koh (@yoreekoh) of the Wall Street Journal, she says, “Computer science has been recognized as important an academic subject as math and English, potentially introducing it into more classrooms across the U.S.”

Non-profit Code.org sees this as the government’s recognition that computer science should be a core part of every school’s mission and places it on a level playing field with other subjects. Code.org COO Cameron Wilson wrote, “In the United States, education is driven by the local governments, not the federal government. “But this move at the federal level is a big step towards our long-term vision: that every student in every school deserves the opportunity to learn computer science.”

The inclusion of computer science into law is more than just semantics. It is a milestone moment for computer science. The earlier someone can start learning coding, the better. Initiatives for expanding computer science education have seen much success recently. At Hack Reactor, we are committed to bringing our data-driven educational programs and rapid-iteration teaching style to high-need labor markets across America. Last year, we became a founding partner of The White House’s TechHire initiative to create pathways to better, well-paying tech jobs and meet urgent employer demand across the United States. Our first two TechHire initiatives are already enrolling students and creating opportunities in Oakland and New Orleans for substantial public benefit.

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