Chicago’s public schools are breaking new ground by adding computer science to the core curriculum from kindergarten through senior year. The program, announced early this week, is a partnership with Code.org, the group behind the “Hour of Code,” which will be providing free teacher training and curriculum resources to Chicago’s teachers. The Chicago Sun-Times reports on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s announcement:
“We live in an era where you earn what you learn, and the new language, a lot of people talk about Spanish and Chinese, but the new language is writing code,” Emanuel said after touring Von Steuben’s strong computer science program, which includes an after-school technology club for girls to address the gender gap.“The new bilingual is knowing computer code writing, and what we’re setting up today, while it’s a good foundation, the fact is that in the UK and in China, computer science and computer coding is now fundamental to elementary school education, and we’re playing catch-up to that effort,” the mayor added.
Emanuel is right. When Code.org announced the Hour of Code earlier this month, it highlighted just how far behind America is in computer science for primary and secondary education, which is a serious oversight given the increasing importance of computer literacy in the economies of the future. With this move, Chicago is taking a step to correct this. We hope that other cities follow in its footsteps