CSTA: Schools failing at computer education

Schools generally regard computers are good for video games and Web surfing, thus only a quarter of schools require computer science courses.

Despite the fact that more students that have access to a personal computer than at any time in history, only 26 percent of U.S. schools require students to take computer science courses, reports Information Week. According to a report issued by Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), two major factors contribute to low enrollment: lack of time in student schedules and the misperception that computers are only good for video games and surfing the Internet.

"The United States cannot ignore the fact that there will be a shortage of qualified candidates for the 1.5 million computer and information technology jobs by 2012," coauthor of the report and CSTA president Chris Stephenson said in a prepared statement. "This report provides a call to action for a variety of audiences to help others acknowledge computer science as the fundamental field that it is."

The New Educational Imperative: Improving High School Computer Science report compares computer science education in American high schools to those abroad. It outlined a national curriculum framework and implementation plan based on these comparisons.

The report serves as "wakeup call to the United States on how far behind it has fallen in treating computer science education as a core knowledge requirement for all educated citizens," said a CSTA statement.

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