Make Computer Science a Graduation Requirement, Says College Board

Megalith

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The College Board, which oversees the Advanced Placement exams, believes that computer science courses should be mandatory in schools and is willing to help fund the idea. Virginia is currently the only state to require computer science instruction.

"The College Board is willing to invest serious resources in making this viable—much more so than is in our economic interest to do so," said College Board President David Coleman, on a conference call with reporters. "To governors, legislators, to others—if you will help us make this part of the life of schools, we will help fund it."
 

sfsuphysics

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Yeah... "non-profit" that doesn't mean they don't rake in money hand over fist, the company as a whole might not profit but the people who run, especially the CEO is paid might well, for essentially put out standardized tests for every high school out there. So the fact they want to make computer science a mandatory test for AP students makes me think it's simply another test with another fee that they can add on and the CEO/president's compensation bonus is going to only get that much larger.
 
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heatlesssun

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Yeah... "non-profit" that doesn't mean they don't rake in money hand over fist, the company as a whole might not profit but the people who run, especially the CEO is paid might well, for essentially put out standardized tests for every high school out there. So the fact they want to make computer science a mandatory test for AP students makes me think it's simply another test with another fee that they can add on and the CEO/president's compensation bonus is going to only get that much larger.

Regardless of this, we live in a time where basic understanding of computers is now as fundamental as basic math.
 

Batboy88

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say that to like accountants or whoever other office airheads making like 80k a years and absolutely couldn't even fucking piece together something simple build wise lol

Just that fucking good I'm fucking God etc lol

Comp people knew fucking everything, there's literally been every topic or application that could be involved in it.
 
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wyqtor

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A terrible idea. Not everyone can easily understand computer science concepts, nor are they useful for people who don't plan to become programmers, engineers, mathematicians, physicists. Getting the basics of IT nailed down first should be the absolute priority (installing Windows, replacing a hard drive, installing a video card, formatting a document in Word, etc.)
 

pcgeekesq

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Regardless of this, we live in a time where basic understanding of computers is now as fundamental as basic math.
A passing phase. Immature technologies require specialized knowledge to use. Mature technologies don't.
It takes no computer science training to say "Hey, Siri, ..."
 

heatlesssun

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A terrible idea. Not everyone can easily understand computer science concepts, nor are they useful for people who don't plan to become programmers, engineers, mathematicians, physicists. Getting the basics of IT nailed down first should be the absolute priority (installing Windows, replacing a hard drive, installing a video card, formatting a document in Word, etc.)

The idea here isn't to make everyone a super hacker but to expose students to mandatory basic requirements like we have forever for basic math, science and language.
 

heatlesssun

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A passing phase. Immature technologies require specialized knowledge to use. Mature technologies don't.
It takes no computer science training to say "Hey, Siri, ..."

The idea here isn't to make everyone a computer scientist anymore than English literature requirements are meant to make everyone a Charles Dickens. But some exposure to the fundamentals of critical pillars of civilization I think is point of a HS education.
 

pcgeekesq

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The idea here isn't to make everyone a computer scientist anymore than English literature requirements are meant to make everyone a Charles Dickens. But some exposure to the fundamentals of critical pillars of civilization I think is point of a HS education.
Then teach them contract law, it's far more important, and most adults don't understand even the basics.
Most people never program a computer, but almost all of us in the developed world enter into contracts.

But seriously, the arguments for teaching English lit are pretty weak, especially now that it's really just indoctrination.
If an analogy to English lit is the best you can offer, you're not offering much.
 

heatlesssun

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Then teach them contract law, it's far more important, and most adults don't understand even the basics.
Most people never program a computer, but almost all of us in the developed world enter into contracts.

But seriously, the arguments for teaching English lit are pretty weak, especially now that it's really just indoctrination.
If an analogy to English lit is the best you can offer, you're not offering much.

Computer technology has impacted human existence more than anything else in our lifetime. And it's just getting started. Plenty of people have made a living in the area of computer technology without advanced degrees and educations. Not exactly sure what a person would do in the field of contract law without being an attorney.
 

pcgeekesq

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Not exactly sure what a person would do in the field of contract law without being an attorney.
Not get screwed. You'd be surprised how many people get raked over the coals because they didn't understand what they were getting in to.
The basics of contract law are just that: basic. High school students should be able to understand them, and ought to be taught them.
 

IdiotInCharge

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I'm not going to disagree about the need to teach contract law, but getting the basic tenets of computer science down shouldn't be that big of a deal:

You can teach computer organization, the logic of processing, and both imperative and object-oriented programming. You can use Python or Javascript for OoO, with the latter being more painful but also more useful at a low level.

This has the further benefit of teaching logic and engineering-oriented thinking, and complements math and science education.

[and contract law would also be a great addition to English-language education!]
 

heatlesssun

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Not get screwed. You'd be surprised how many people get raked over the coals because they didn't understand what they were getting in to.
The basics of contract law are just that: basic. High school students should be able to understand them, and ought to be taught them.

The more one knows the better. We're at the point in human civilization that computer technology is a basic element of our existence like language and math. And it's far easier to apply computer skills into living than legal knowledge without high end formal education.
 

SvenBent

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listening to all the the suggestion to put in school and realizing it was all basics parts of my pre high shool education. make me really wonder the states of American education system

contract law
home economic/banking
Computer basics

All basics before you hit high school ages.
 

dragonstongue

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Computer technology has impacted human existence more than anything else in our lifetime. And it's just getting started. Plenty of people have made a living in the area of computer technology without advanced degrees and educations. Not exactly sure what a person would do in the field of contract law without being an attorney.

LOL....am pretty sure that is a flat out I will call BS..what about construction, farming etc etc etc...computer sciences obviously is a needed thing (seeing as computing in the "modern" world has a great effect on all we see, say or do on a daily basis (if we like it or now) but to say has impacted human existence more than anything else in our lifetime, you are SO reaching, must be tied to politicians somehow ROFLMAO
 

heatlesssun

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listening to all the the suggestion to put in school and realizing it was all basics parts of my pre high shool education. make me really wonder the states of American education system

contract law
home economic/banking
Computer basics

All basics before you hit high school ages.

You mention banking. From a business perspective, banking is one of the most automated old world industries there is these days. If one has good computers skills it's easy to get a job in banking these days.
 

Merc1138

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listening to all the the suggestion to put in school and realizing it was all basics parts of my pre high shool education. make me really wonder the states of American education system

contract law
home economic/banking
Computer basics

All basics before you hit high school ages.
Computer basics in US education in the 80s-90s was non-existent in most areas or an absolute joke. It's frankly kind of pathetic that people still have difficulty making sure USB cables are plugged in.

As far as home economics/banking, it would be incredibly useful but instead it's next to non-existent. Home-ec courses are generally just glorified cooking classes. Explaining what the APR on a credit card actually means, how much you end up paying on a loan when you include interest, how to write a check(yes, these still get used for things, just not the grocery store anymore), or even knowing that when you need to hire a contractor for plumbing, roofing, or whatever that you should look up that contractor's license to see if it even exists... shit like that would be useful.

As far as contract law, heatlesssun you don't need to be a legal expert to have enough knowledge to know when you should consult one. A law degree is not required for reading through a contract for an apartment lease or a car purchase and determining whether or not the contents of it are "normal" and what you the signer are actually responsible for. We're not talking about signing a record deal.
 

heatlesssun

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LOL....am pretty sure that is a flat out I will call BS..what about construction, farming etc etc etc...computer sciences obviously is a needed thing (seeing as computing in the "modern" world has a great effect on all we see, say or do on a daily basis (if we like it or now) but to say has impacted human existence more than anything else in our lifetime, you are SO reaching, must be tied to politicians somehow ROFLMAO

So you don't think that computer technology has had impact on construction or farming? Genetic science which is instrumental to farming has been revolutionized by computers in our lifetime.
 

Merc1138

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You mention banking. From a business perspective, banking is one of the most automated old world industries there is these days. If one has good computers skills it's easy to get a job in banking these days.
I'm pretty sure he's not referring to banking as a career, rather most highschool graduates likely have no idea wtf a CD is, how variable interest rates on a credit card work, the difference between a retirement account with deferred taxes and one without, how to apply for a loan, what a credit score means, etc.
 

heatlesssun

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As far as contract law, heatlesssun you don't need to be a legal expert to have enough knowledge to know when you should consult one. A law degree is not required for reading through a contract for an apartment lease or a car purchase and determining whether or not the contents of it are "normal" and what you the signer are actually responsible for. We're not talking about signing a record deal.

That said, computer technology has revolutionized the ability to access information, including legal contracts and information. Computer technology is a fundamental part of human existence that impacts virtually all areas of human existence. It's so basic to our lives that some basic requirements as part of secondary education is more than logical.
 

heatlesssun

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I'm pretty sure he's not referring to banking as a career, rather most highschool graduates likely have no idea wtf a CD is, how variable interest rates on a credit card work, the difference between a retirement account with deferred taxes and one without, how to apply for a loan, what a credit score means, etc.

I'm not saying that computer science is the only skill that one needs to function in the modern world. I'm saying that computer technology is so basic to the functioning of the modern world that some basic knowledge of computer technology is on the level of basic language literacy.
 

Merc1138

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That said, computer technology has revolutionized the ability to access information, including legal contracts and information. Computer technology is a fundamental part of human existence that impacts virtually all areas of human existence. It's so basic to our lives that some basic requirements as part of secondary education is more than logical.
I'm not arguing against that. If you read what I said about basic computer science education, it's a bit of a joke. Seeing some kids interacting with computers today as well as recent HS graduates frankly doesn't impress me either since it seems they all believe it to be a magic idiot box that just does whatever on command. I actually had someone in the office last week get butthurt at me when I explained that their computer wasn't slow and the software wasn't buggy, but the task they were trying to perform was incredibly CPU intensive and that if they didn't like how long it took they could ask their manager to approve a $10,000 workstation for this once a month task that took an hour.

My point is that home-ec/banking and some basic legal knowledge(explaining things like minimum wage, EEOC, etc. aren't taught in schools either) would also go a long way. Frankly more so than the wasteful HS sports programs, ineffective PE classes, and so on.
 

lilbabycat

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Regardless of this, we live in a time where basic understanding of computers is now as fundamental as basic math.

Agreed. It is AMAZING the waste that exists just from people being barely computer literate. That said, here in Baltimore, entire schools worth of students are being passed through HS when they can't even read. http://foxbaltimore.com/news/projec...schools-no-students-proficient-in-state-tests
High school students are tested by the state in math and English. Their scores place them in one of five categories – a four or five is considered proficient and one through three are not. At Frederick Douglass, 185 students took the state math test last year and 89 percent fell into the lowest level. Just one student approached expectations and scored a three.
 

heatlesssun

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Agreed. It is AMAZING the waste that exists just from people being barely computer literate. That said, here in Baltimore, entire schools worth of students are being passed through HS when they can't even read. http://foxbaltimore.com/news/projec...schools-no-students-proficient-in-state-tests

Traditionally a secondary education is meant to provide a broad and basic understanding of fundamental constructions such as language, math and science. Computer technology is now one of those fundamental constructs. As computer technology marches forward with machine learning and AI that could reshape life in ways straight out of science fiction horror, I think that it's imperative that more people can grasp not only where we are but where we are headed.
 

Ranulfo

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Ahh yes, lets take lessons from the corrupt, greedy and wasteful college education system to spend more money on the corrupt, greedy, wasteful K-12 education system.
 

Azphira

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I prefer computer science fiction. Overclock and mod it then scream it's alive several times if it posts.
 

pcgeekesq

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listening to all the the suggestion to put in school and realizing it was all basics parts of my pre high shool education. make me really wonder the states of American education system.
Today, the public schools, led by the teacher's unions, just teach liberal group-think.
They are indoctrinating the next generation of mindless, jobless, government-dependent Democratic Party voter.
 
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WhoMe

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It may be too late. Pretty soon AI's and robots will program and make themselves, humans will no longer need to know anything about them.
 

steakman1971

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I like the idea of making computer science available. I really like teaching kids programming (Python would get a good language to start out with). However, my wife teaches and she deals with kids that don't even know the multiplication table (high schoolers). Not trying to be elitist, but I don't think these kids are going to do well in any form of a CS class.
When I was in high school (a very long time ago...I'm talking leather ties where still a thing), they offered basic and pascal programming classes. We also had vocational schools that taught welding, autobody repair, diesel mechanics, and several other job skills. A lot of the kids that went the vocational route where not college bound and would not have done well in any computer science class. I had a few friends that went that route and got decent jobs. A few even went on to trade schools to learn more. (I realize a lot of these jobs may have left or there are not as many available as there used to be.)
I get the point of the CS as the world has changed. However, does everyone need to know what a for-loop is? A lot of kids flunk out of algebra. How can they do CS when they can't comprehend a variable? (Lots of things to fix for sure - I don't have answers, just not thinking this should be mandatory for everyone).
 

sfsuphysics

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I think the idea here is basic proficiency, bits. bytes, that sort of thing.
Having an AP test specifically for it goes beyond "basic proficiency"

Have a 1 semester class requirement, like you need x semesters of math, and y semesters of english.
 

Merc1138

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I like the idea of making computer science available. I really like teaching kids programming (Python would get a good language to start out with). However, my wife teaches and she deals with kids that don't even know the multiplication table (high schoolers). Not trying to be elitist, but I don't think these kids are going to do well in any form of a CS class.
When I was in high school (a very long time ago...I'm talking leather ties where still a thing), they offered basic and pascal programming classes. We also had vocational schools that taught welding, autobody repair, diesel mechanics, and several other job skills. A lot of the kids that went the vocational route where not college bound and would not have done well in any computer science class. I had a few friends that went that route and got decent jobs. A few even went on to trade schools to learn more. (I realize a lot of these jobs may have left or there are not as many available as there used to be.)
I get the point of the CS as the world has changed. However, does everyone need to know what a for-loop is? A lot of kids flunk out of algebra. How can they do CS when they can't comprehend a variable? (Lots of things to fix for sure - I don't have answers, just not thinking this should be mandatory for everyone).
Of course they wouldn't do well in any sort of CS class, but that's a problem of your local school system(not saying it's your wife's fault, although it's sad I need to clarify that otherwise some people would take it that way) for even letting those kids into HS without being able to handle basic multiplication. "Back in my day" that was a part of the basic requirement of getting to what... the 3rd or 4th grade? The idea that there are highschool students who can't handle basic single digit multiplication should be alarming to people, unless we're talking about people who lived in the woods till their teens and never attended school previously.
 

infinity9

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If they haven't gotten interested in computers by high school its very unlikely they will ever get interested. If they do get interested then its unlikely that anything they are exposed in high school will benefit them other than an easy class. I always laugh at the idea we can simply just teach anyone CS. I think honestly putting aside the difficulty in truly understanding and learning it, getting most people to do CS is akin to torture.
 
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nutzo

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A terrible idea. Not everyone can easily understand computer science concepts, nor are they useful for people who don't plan to become programmers, engineers, mathematicians, physicists. Getting the basics of IT nailed down first should be the absolute priority (installing Windows, replacing a hard drive, installing a video card, formatting a document in Word, etc.)

I wouldn't except everyone to be able to build a computer or a network, but at least teach everyone the basics.
I run into too many people at work who don't even understand the difference between ram and disk space.
They barely know how turn the computer on and click on an icon to start an application.
 

bugleyman

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Ahh yes, lets take lessons from the corrupt, greedy and wasteful college education system to spend more money on the corrupt, greedy, wasteful K-12 education system.

Yeah, those knowledge-sharing bastards.
 
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