Mar 252013

… though perhaps not in the context we would like.

In Slashdot this morning, a Google engineer blogs about Viet Nam’s efforts to educate all students in computer science. He asserts that computing is brought to kids as early as grade 2, and that a large portion of the high school students could “pass a Google interview.”

He also cites Maryland (correctly, even if awkwardly for us) as an example of the problem in US when it comes to preparing young people in computing. Maryland of course treats computing instruction as living in the same equivalence class as driver education, “family science” (what we used to call “home ec”) and any training in the trades.

If CS is getting renewed attention these days at all, then it is because of the state’s increased efforts on cyber security, which focus on ensuring that more Maryland kids are workforce-ready. Better for high school kids to get industrial certifications than take more science that won’t immediately help state industry. Remember: CS is not science in the eyes of MSDE, and thus does not count for a science obligation for graduation.

To save you hunting for it, this is the MSDE page linked by the blogger.

So congratulations to my fellow paladins of the science of computing. Our flagship efforts to champion the education of young people in the field – or perhaps lack of them – just got fleeting international recognition. This is indeed our problem because, if not us, then who will champion our science in Maryland?

 Posted by at 8:22 am on March 25, 2013