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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 Gaaark on Sunday June 08 2014, @05:05PM

    by Gaaark (41) on Sunday June 08 2014, @05:05PM (#52980) Journal

    There are fewer cases of autism in females than males... this may be one reason.

    Also, women tend to be more social minded, whereas programming is more solitary.

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  • (Score: 1) by Noldir on Monday June 09 2014, @10:36PM

    by Noldir (1216) on Monday June 09 2014, @10:36PM (#53429)

    According to my girlfriend who is a special education teacher there are probably just as many girls with autism as boys (she has a few in her class). But girls, on average, are better at mimicking the expected social interactions then boys and are usually just considered "shy".