“Just make it a requirement,” says Chicago mayor of computer science in high school

github gender bias coding
Pixabay
It’s time to revise the three R’s of education — I mean, come on, they don’t even all start with the letter “R” as it stands. But technicalities aside, it’s becoming increasingly clear that our increasingly technical world is making another skill just as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic — programming. And now, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is calling for computer science and coding classes to be a graduation prerequisite.

“Just make it a requirement,” he said of coding during a tech policy event sponsored by The Washington Post. “I am fine with Common Core. We adopted it in the city, one of the first cities to do it. I’m great. [But] you need this skill — national policy. Make it a high-school graduation requirement.” Come on, federal government. You heard the man.

Mayor Emanuel has already taken strides to implement this requirement in Chicago schools by 2018, but his city is just one of many in the United States. “[Students] need to know this stuff,” he continued. Whereas computers and computer science were not as ubiquitous in previous generations, computer literacy and a basic understanding of coding is quickly becoming not only an excellent resume line, but perhaps even a resume necessity. “In the way that I can get by kind of being OK by it, they can’t,” the mayor concluded.

In Emanuel’s Chicago plan, coding classes would replace a math, science or foreign language credit. After all, much of programming draws upon similar skill sets as those found in other quantitative fields, and as a language, one could certainly argue that a fluency in Java is a bit more useful than fluency in Latin (not that knowing your roots isn’t important, too). While Emanuel didn’t offer any advice as to what a federally implemented policy would look like, it seems safe to assume that it would closely mirror the smaller-scale Chicago scenario.

He certainly has a supporter in the form of President Barack Obama, under whom Emanuel previously served as chief of staff. Obama himself has been a vocal supporter of programs like code.org, appearing in a promotional video for the non-profit, and has also emphasized the importance of bringing computer science into classrooms across the U.S. So who knows — in a few years, you may have to be able to produce “Hello, world” in order to actually say hello to the world post high school.

Computing

Windows on a Chromebook is a dead dream, but something better could replace it

Recent code updates posted in Chromium Gerrit indicate that Google has canceled Project Campfire, ending its plans to let Chromebooks dual boot Windows and Chrome OS. Is hope all but lost on this popular feature?
Business

The 15 best tech jobs boast top salaries, high satisfaction, lots of openings

Late spring weather isn’t the only thing heating up. The technology sector offers some of the hottest jobs in the country, and talent and experience are in high demand. May is blooming with thousands of high-paying positions all over the…
Deals

Save up to $130 on Anker’s Eufy security systems with promo codes on Amazon

Anker's EufyCam offers one-year battery life, excellent picture quality, and facial recognition technology that works well. Now you can save up to an additional $130 off of Amazon's sale prices through May 27 with our promo code.
Computing

Hackers collect payment and password info from more than 4,600 sites

Using supply-chain attacks, hackers breached two companies and used malicious code to collect the payment and password data of more than 4,600 websites. The companies attacked were Picreel and Cloud CMS (via its Alpaca Forms project).
Computing

Zombieload forces a choice between performance and security. What will you do?

Intel has handled the recent discovery of a security vulnerability in its CPUs with confidence, a contrast to its reaction to Spectre and Meltdown. But with ZombieLoad, performance and security seem to be at odds, and you have to choose.
Computing

The Dell XPS 13 headlines the best laptop deals for May 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we have you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Product Review

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 2 launched last year, but already feels old

Released in fall of 2018, the Surface Laptop 2 was competitive at the time but now must deal with new competitors that were announced at CES 2019. How does the popular Surface Laptop 2 hold up six months later?
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Computing

Is Threadripper dead? If so, AMD has made a huge mistake

Think Threadripper is dead? Think again. AMD's flagship CPU line might not be on this year's roadmap, but it's not dead and could well bring some amazing new enhancements when it returns.
Social Media

6 easy ways to archive all of your favorite Instagram videos

Saving Instagram videos should be just as easy as taking a screenshot. So, we've put together a list of the best apps and tools that save your favorite Instagram videos onto your phone or computer.
Computing

Cybercrime gang that stole $100M busted in international effort

A major cybercrime gang that used powerful malware to steal an estimated $100 million from bank accounts has been dismantled following an international effort that spanned six countries.
Computing

G-Sync is a game-changer. These are the best monitors with Nvidia's display tech

Looking for a monitor that plays well with Nvidia GPUs? You need G-Sync and we have picked the best G-Sync monitors available. Take a look and find out which monitor works best for your PC upgrade.
Computing

Microsoft is discounting this Surface Laptop 2 by a sweet $300

Microsoft is offering a nearly 14-inch Surface Laptop 2 with 256GB of storage at a $300 discount until May 18, 2019. The laptop comes with a PixelSense display, and Intel Core i5 processor and a 720p HD camera.
Product Review

Looking for discrete graphics on the cheap? The Acer Swift 3 will do the trick

The Acer Swift 3 is a tweener laptop that’s not quite budget and not quite premium – and it feels and performs accordingly. It manages to hold its own, though, thanks to its discrete GPU.