Obama Unveils Computer Science for All
Written by Sue Gee   
Saturday, 30 January 2016

In his weekly radio address President Obama  today said that he will seek $4 billion from Congress to dramatically increase the number of children who have access to computer science classes in school.

His proposal, referred to as the “Computer Science for All” initiative, includes $4 billion in funding for states and $100 million directly for districts to increase access to K-12 computer science education by training teachers and expanding access to instructional materials. 

If Congress approves the president’s budget request, the $4 billion would be handed out over a period of three years to any state that applies for the funds and has a well-designed plan to expand access to computer science courses, especially for girls and minorities.

The rationale behind the plan is to ensure that students are competitive in a job market that rewards technological know-how. 



In his Weekly Address, which can be viewed in this video, President Obama says

Today’s auto mechanics aren’t just sliding under cars to change the oil; they’re working on machines that run on as many as 100 million lines of code. Nurses are analyzing data and managing electronic health records. Machinists are writing computer programs.

In the new economy, computer science isn’t an optional skill — it’s a basic skill, right along with the three ‘Rs.

This isn't President Obama's first move towards incorporating Computer Science into the school curriculum of the United States. In October 2015 he signed into law a bill that expands the definition of STEM to include Computer Science and back in February 2013 we reported on him expressing the opinion:

“I think given how pervasive computers and the internet is now and how integral it is to our economy and how fascinated kids are with it, I want to make sure they know how to actually produce stuff using computers and not simply consume stuff,”


20160129 States where computer science counts

Source: Code.org

February 2013 was when Code.org first started to promote the idea that:

"Every student in school should have the opportunity to learn to code"

and as far as the United States is concerned a lot of progress has been made. Whereas 9 out of 10 schools didn't teach computing in 2013 now it is only 1 in 4.



This change has come about with the help of the computer industry and President Obama, who has backed Code.org since its inception, and appeared to enjoy is own experience of an Hour of Code in 2014, is now able to enlist the help of the computer industry to aid and promote his initiative. 


Google and Cartoon Network are to make more than $60 million in investments and Code.org has pledged to train 25,000 additional computer science teachers this year. Microsoft President Brad Smith told the press that computer science education is an:

"economic and social imperative for the next generation of American students."

Noting that up to a million U.S. technology jobs could be left unfilled by the end of the decade Smith said that in the US:

"we're moving, frankly, just more slowly than we need."


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Last Updated ( Saturday, 30 January 2016 )