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Tech Leaders Lobby for Coding Classes in California Schools

The San Francisco Chronicle (05/06/14) Kristen V. Brown 

Educators and technology industry leaders on Wednesday are sending a letter to California Gov. Jerry Brown urging him to improve computer science education in the state’s public schools. The letter notes that although California is “home to the computing revolution that transforms our lives and provides high-paying jobs,” 90 percent of K-12 schools do not teach computer science. “Besides the jobs, a basic understanding of this foundational field is relevant in every 21st century career,” the letter says. Although California has begun to take some steps to boost computer science education, it lags behind other states, such as Texas, which last month changed its education code to require all high schools to offer at least two computer-science courses. “We want to seriously push for bringing blended learning and coding curriculum into schools,” says Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who will deliver the letter to the governor’s office. “Everybody needs this. This is where jobs are now.” Hadi Partovi, co-founder of Code.org, organized the letter campaign. “Computer science is a field that a very small minority actually participate in,” Partovi says. “California should be producing not only the top technology but the top technologists, and that is not happening.”

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