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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) by VLM on Sunday June 08 2014, @11:51AM

    by VLM (445) on Sunday June 08 2014, @11:51AM (#52921)

    "So is working at McDonald's."

    Not my experience. Well, I never worked at McD, although I worked very small company retail as a starving student and it was awesome. I was a single teenage boy and the hiring manager was a dirty old man with the same taste in women as myself, so about half my coworkers were amazing beautiful women my age (I dated several, which now a days is probably illegal). The work was physically way easier than going to the gym or helping out at my uncles farm or helping my parents do house maintenance. The camaraderie was excellent (with the guys, not just the women). The 50:50 male female ratio was awesome. Management was uniformly excellent; obviously this was not a "family run" small business, but a real small business.

    If I could get paid the same to stock shelves and occasionally help the cashiers, there's no way I'd be slinging code.

    Also BTW law is dead. That bubble popped a couple years ago, maybe five years ago? Not everyone has heard about it yet, but the numbers were/are pretty stunning. I never went into medicine because as a kid I could see it was likely to be "reorganized" because nothing this dumb can go on forever. Yet decades later, here we are. I would imagine when the medical bubble pops it'll sound just like the popping of the law bubble. "What do you mean, pharmacists are being replaced by vending machines?" and radiologists aren't paid any more than car brake shop repair guys.

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