Students need earlier computer science education

By Leonardo Cervantes

Computer science class shortages are extremely detrimental.

California is tied as the seventh worst state that offers computer science classes in high school.  

As the largest state in the U.S., it should be a requirement that every high school at least offers computer science classes.

The world keeps evolving and  becoming more tech-friendly. 

Common changes are for example coupons still exist, but supermarkets have their own app to scan coupons. 

While cable is still available to purchase, many households have decided to cut cable in order to stream their favorite shows on their computers or tablets. 

There are still many people who aren’t tech savvy, but have to adjust their lives because each year it continues to become more essential.

Rather than schools discouraging student use of artificial intelligence tools, schools should teach students how to use AI appropriately.

Many other innovative technological tools have been adopted for use in education, such as Canva.

Canva is a program meant to simplify the graphic design process in place of more complex image-editing programs such as Photoshop.

Even Photoshop is an evolution from archaic image retouching methods that used paint and ink by hand.

Comprehensive computer science education should educate students on innovative programs.

“It is time for policymakers to reassess the knowledge, skills and curricula that will engage students, support learning objectives and prepare students for their post-school lives,” said in a document.

This generation grew up in the social media era. 

A lot of kids in this generation have an affinity for technology, but California doesn’t have the courses available to most. 

Computer science and similar majors are well-paid career opportunities, but essentially half of California residents don’t have a chance to try out computer science.

California is only four percentage points from being the second worst state. “Just over half (53%) of high schools in the U.S. offer a single computer science course,” said in a document. 

While the number is still staggeringly low, it is almost a 20% increase. In 2018, the number was as low as 35%.

Silicon Valley is considered the hub of technology in California.

 It is home to some of the most influential companies used today like Apple, Google, eBay and Zoom. 

There are over 30 tech companies in Silicon Valley as well as over 40,000 different startups. 

Having such a well renowned tech environment while only 53% of high school students have computer science classes available to them seems counterproductive. 

Students living in low-income areas are greatly impacted by the lack of resources. 

“Schools serving low-income communities were three times less likely to offer core CS courses and over two times less likely to offer Advanced Placement courses than schools serving high-income communities,” the California Computer Science Access Report said.

“About 34% of schools serving high proportions of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Pacific Islander students offered CS courses in comparison to 52% of schools serving a greater proportion of white and Asian students,” the California Computer Science Access Report said.

Computer science is always evolving and requires flexibility and problem-solving. 

Not only would these skills come in handy in computer science related problems, but they are essential in everyday life. 

As computers become more accessible to everyone, using programs that are necessary to complete tasks, we should learn how to use  them to the fullest.

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