Skip to main content

“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.

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
I gave my Wi-Fi a makeover with this router that’s on sale for Prime Day
The Eero 6+ router sitting on a desk.

I ignored my Wi-Fi for far too long, and I suspect you might be in a similar situation. You buy a router, or lord forbid settle for the one your ISP gives you, and wonder why your Wi-Fi cuts out and struggles to maintain the speeds you're paying for. I recently upgrade to the Eero 6+ mesh system, and it's been one of the best tech investments I've ever made. And it's on a big sale for Prime Day.

It makes sense -- Eero is an Amazon brand -- but I'm still shocked how cheap the 6+ kit is. You can get , which 33% off its $240 list price. I paid list price and feel like I got my money's worth. At $160, it's a downright steal.

Read more
AMD’s new integrated graphics just did something really impressive
A render of the new Ryzen AI 300 chip on a gradient background.

For years, any type of semi-serious gaming required having a discrete graphics card. While that's still the preferred way to do it, modern integrated GPUs can do quite a lot, as can be seen in this benchmark of the new AMD Radeon 890M. The GPU, bundled in the AMD Ryzen AI 9 HX 370 processor, may not give you Cyberpunk 2077 on ultra settings, but it can rival some of Nvidia's most popular discrete GPUs.

Of course, we're not talking about the likes of the RTX 4080 Super, but about cards from several generations ago. However, that doesn't make them any less popular in the Steam Hardware Survey. For example, Nvidia's GTX 1650 is the second-mostused GPU in the latest survey results, and it has been for some time -- and it also happens to be one of the cards that the Radeon 890M can keep up with.

Read more