Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The State of Technology Education in the US

I just saw some interesting stats from the 2007 AP tests.  It is distressing how far computer science lags behind the other sciences.  In order of number of students who took the tests.  

1. Biology 145,000
2. Physics 100,000 (B, C Mech, C Ele& Mag)
3. Chemistry 97,000
4. Computer Science 20,000 (A & AB)
In comparison, US History had 311,000, and Calculus had 290,000.  

This is in a world where high schoolers are all about being on Facebook, XBox, and PodCasts.  Yet when I started teaching in 2002, the State of California, home to the high tech industry, did not offer a state certification for computer science teachers.  I would even argue that most of these AP CS test takers mostly came from private schools that have seen the need for such education for their students.
We have seen our IT industry leaders testifying before Congress asking for H1B Visas.  The long term request from the IT industry should really be making computer science a required science subject in American high schools. 

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