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Coding classes: Overcoming obstacles to add computer science

More and more teachers and students demand access to coding classes

coding-classThe cradle of techno-innovation, the Bay Area has fallen as flat as the rest of the country in one critical area: nurturing the next generation of cyber whizzes.

Business and political leaders alike have harped on the need to teach kids computer programming and expand the traditional geek pool to include more girls, Latinos and African-Americans. Advocates such as Code.org predict a shortage of 1 million trained computer scientists in the next decade.

Slowly, more coding classes are gearing up at high schools. But they’re often in response to resourceful students and dogged teachers, rather than a sign of systemic change.

According to the nonprofit Code.org, only 10 percent of U.S. high schools offer programming. Next month, Northgate High in Walnut Creek and Leland High in San Jose will begin offering AP Computer Science — but only after students petitioned and delivered sign-ups.

(Next page: The growth of coding classes)

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