Should students learn coding? Students, schools disagree

By Marco della Cava, USA Today
August 21st, 2015

Poll finds different views surrounding the ever-popular coding trend

coding-skillsParents across the U.S. are eager for their children to learn coding and other computer science skills, but their message hasn’t yet hit the in-box of school administrators.

That’s the finding of a new Gallup study commissioned by Google that spotlights a potentially perilous economic disconnect as tech companies struggle to enlarge their engineering talent pools.

In the works for 18 months, the survey, called “Searching for Computer Science: Access and Barriers in U.S. K-12 Education,” polled 15,000 people ranging from students to superintendents.

Among key and contrasting findings are the facts while 90 percent of parents see computer science, or CS, as “a good use of school resources” (and 66 percent say CS should be required learning alongside other core classes), fewer than 8 percent of administrators believe parent demand is high. They also cite a lack of trained teachers as a top barrier to offering CS courses. Three quarters of principals report no CS programs in their school.

Next page: More key findings; what’s happening in schools