Google study: Coding is a low priority in U.S. schools

By Tomas Monzon  |  Aug. 20, 2015 at 10:33 AM
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- A Gallup study commissioned by Google has revealed that despite parental eagerness for their kids to learn coding, students and schools are not as zealous.

The report which polled 15,000 individuals including students and superintendents over an 18-month period, found that despite 90 percent of parents agreeing that teaching computer science is "a good use of school resources," less than 8 percent of administrators believed that parent demand for coding programs is high. Administrators also pointed to a lack of teaching talent as their main barrier to offering coding courses, with 75 percent of principals reporting a total lack of computer science classes at their schools.

Twenty-five percent of students in seventh through twelfth grades said they had no access to a computer science class or club at their school. Forty percent of these students have an opportunity to use a computer at school everyday.

Low-income, Hispanic and black students also had a lesser chance of having access to such education. This corroborates findings by other studies such as one which analyzed California schools and others that reviewed Advanced Placement Computer Science course participation rates.

The study, which will be repeated annually, points to a disconnect between an exponential growing job industry and an underestimated work force to go along with it. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that about a million coding jobs will go unfilled by 2020 due to lack of talent.

Another disconnect the study found was students' convictions that they will somehow learn computer science in the future despite not having access to it at school. This was shown by 80 percent of students.

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