The California State legislature has just approved California High School Advanced Computer Science Bill—SB 1200. The bill would require the UC and CSU to develop guidelines for courses in computer science for high schools that meet the A-G math requirements for admission to the UC and CSU. The bill is awaiting the governor’s signature. The reason for approving the bill is not hard to see. As California State Senator Alex Padilla’s office noted, “By the year 2018, California will need to fill hundreds of thousands of computing-related jobs. Unfortunately, most Californians are unlikely to possess the skills necessary to work in this field. This is largely due to education policies that do not recognize, or value, the role of coding and computer science in our lives and our future.” And the Department of Labor Statistics estimates that of “the 1.1 million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs that will need to be filled in California by 2018, computing-related jobs account for nearly half.”
At Village Glen, we have focused and continue to focus on this demand by offering Computers in elementary school through high school. In the early grades, students develop proficiency with MS Office, with Google docs, HTML, and a simple programming language like Scratch. In middle school, they learn web design, 3D imaging and printing, and video editing. By the time our students are in high school, they are able take computer programming, first using a language like Processing, and then Java. And we have plans to introduce an AP class in computer science in the near future. We too understand it is crucial to graduate students equipped to fill the jobs of the future, and we recognize the pivotal role that computer science has played in transforming almost all jobs, and believe that it will continue to do so. Moreover, our students’ natural skills and talents often draw them to computers and technology; it suits their sense of logic and order and their attention to detail. We want our students digitally literate, ready to play their part in the 21st Century, and we know that they do too!