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posted by janrinok on Saturday June 07 2014, @05:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the food-for-thought dept.

A huge nationwide push is underway, funded by the nonprofit Code.org's corporate and billionaire donors, from Amazon and Google to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, to introduce American schoolchildren to coding and to redefine it as a basic skill to be learned alongside the three R's.

Code.org's curriculum has been adopted by 20,000 teachers from kindergarten to 12th grade. But if coding is the new lingua franca, literacy rates for girls are dropping: Last year, girls made up 18.5 percent of A.P. computer science test-takers nationwide, a slight decrease from the year before. In three states, no girls took the test at all. An abysmal 0.4 percent of girls entering college intend to major in computer science [PDF]. And in 2013, women made up 14 percent of all computer science graduates down from 36 percent in 1984. The imbalance persists in the tech industry. Just this week, Google released data showing that women account for just 17 percent of its tech employees.

The problem is not only getting girls to computer class, but keeping them there.

See also girlswhocode.com.

 
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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by meisterister on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:42PM

    by meisterister (949) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:42PM (#52693) Journal

    The problem I see here is that there was a significant decrease over time. People need to consider what, exactly, has changed between 1984 and now to cause such a decrease. Is it because there are now far more males, or it because some factor is driving the women out. I agree that if people don't care, then they shouldn't be pushed into programming. The thing that should be pushed rather than programming should be logical, algorithmic thinking. Just the thought processes involved in programming can prove to be very useful in other subjects.

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