“Why don’t high schools teach CS?” asks Mark.

Say what? Of course high schools teach CS! Weston has done so for decades.

Surely Mark Guzdial knows better, but his recent blog post asks that very question. So what’s going on?

It turns out that I have MB (Massachusetts Blindness). In Massachusetts there are many high schools that teach CS. Probably most do. But Georgia is another story (in this as in so many other matters). Guzdial’s post turns out to be primarily about high schools in Georgia. We get the flavor of what’s going on from this very brief excerpt:

[The principal of one school] had a choice of offering choir or offering CS. There were students in choir. CS was a gamble. It wasn’t even a hard decision for that principal.

Huh? Why should a school have to make a choice between offering choir and offering CS? I’m not Georgia, so I have no idea.

Anyway, that’s Georgia. And later in the post Guzdial does admit that “each US state is going to be a different story,” but I wonder what the entire national picture is. Part of the problem is defining what CS is. For instance, does programming count as CS? Does instruction in using Microsoft Word count? How about cybersecurity? This last is actually one of Guzdial’s examples, as two of the high schools in the study he writes about offer cybersecurity but not CS, apparently because that’s where the jobs are (around those schools). The College Board offers multiple curricular options in CS; how many high schools follow each? Or none of the above? Surely it’s not just for students planning to attend the top universities? I bet I can find out. Does this chart tell us anything?

Categories: Teaching & Learning, Technology, Weston