The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) are making a serious investment in the future of its students by adding computer science to its high school core curriculum, and offering it starting in kindergarten — the first urban school district to do so. CPS high schools will begin including a foundational computer science class within three years, upgrading the subject from elective to core; within five years, kindergarten through eighth-graders will be able to take computer courses as well. The goal is to increase kids’ computer literacy and get them coding at a young age, so they can compete for high-paying jobs. Anyone who’s been paying attention to education trends lately knows that globally American kids have fallen behind in the S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. “The new bilingual is knowing computer code writing, and what we’re setting up today, while it’s a good foundation, the fact is that in the U.K. and in China, computer science and computer coding is now fundamental to elementary school education, and we’re playing catch-up to that effort,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
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