Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi says about 90 percent of U.S. schools lack computer science programs due to a shortage of funds and teachers. "There are over 40,000 high schools in the U.S. About 2,300 teach AP computer science," Partovi says, and less than 10,000 are estimated to teach introductory computer science.
In an effort to help students learn coding skills, Code.org in the last six months has helped 3.5 million students try four different online coding courses. To broaden its reach, the nonprofit has partnered with nonprofit Technically Learning and nonpartisan advocacy coalition Computing in the Core, which ACM founded in 2010 with the backing of Microsoft, Google, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the National Center for Women and Information Technology. Approximately 13,000 schools have already approached Code.org for assistance in adding computer science to their curriculum.
Code.org must overcome several obstacles in its mission, including a severe shortage of computer science teachers and the fact that states classify computer science as a vocational elective rather than a core field of study. There currently are fewer than 3,000 AP computer science teachers, compared to more than 20,000 AP calculus teachers, Partovi notes. He says that Code.org wants to bring computer science to more schools, get more states to set policies that are favorable to computer science, and grow awareness of computer science education broadly at the national level.
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