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The President Wants Every Student To Learn Computer Science. How Would That Work?

President Obama used his final State of the Union address Tuesday night to reflect on his legacy. But he also put forth some specific proposals for his remaining year in office. And the very first one was "helping students learn to write computer code."

Elaborating on the educational achievements of the past several years, Obama pointed to the overhaul of No Child Left Behind, the increase in pre-K programs, and rising high school graduation rates.

Then he said:

"In the coming years, we should build on that progress, by ... offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on Day 1."

He's not the only proponent of this idea. The biggest public school systems in the country, New York City and Los Angeles Unified, have both announced that they're moving toward exposing all students to computer science. Coding is also newly part of national curricula in the U.K. and Australia.

The United States, of course, has no national curriculum. The Computer Science Teachers Association estimates that only about one-tenth of the high schools in the U.S. — to say nothing of middle and elementary schools — offer a computer science course today.

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