Should Computer Science Count as a Math or Science Requirement?

Susan Hall

Here’s an idea: Let high school computer science classes count as a math or science requirement toward high school graduation. So far, students in most states take it as an elective.

Technology is becoming more ubiquitous throughout the economy and tech workers are in short supply. Yet efforts to drum up interest in computer science in high school aren’t necessarily going gangbusters. In 2009, the College Board dropped the more rigorous of its two AP classes in computer science because of declining enrollment.

As the mother of a high school sophomore, I can tell you it’s hard to fit in all the required classes and the few electives. College reps tell us that they want to see that students have explored myriad interests in high school – rather than focusing on one particular path. But how?

A new bill in the Washington state Legislature would add it to the nine states that accept computer science as a math or science requirement, GeekWire reports. A survey of 600 Washington state voters by the nonprofit group Washington STEM found that three-quarters of them approve that idea.

While I want my son to take computer science, it’s a tough call, though, as to whether it should elbow out biology, chemistry or physics in the science curriculum or algebra II, statistics or calculus in math.

So much to learn, so little time.



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