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Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Lately, Coding

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Computer science and coding education are growing quickly in the U.S.

Imran Khaliq, 12, helps his brother Farhan, 7, left, and Aidan Brown, 6, at a school computer coding event in Mill Valley, CA.

Credit: Jason Henry/The New York Times

A national education movement with an emphasis on computer science is growing quickly in the U.S. Since December 2013, 20,000 teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade have introduced coding lessons, and about 30 school districts have agreed to add coding classes in the fall, according to

The spread of coding instruction, although still in its early stages, is "unprecedented--there's never been a move this fast in education," says University of Michigan professor Elliot Soloway.

Although it is still unclear if teaching basic computer science in grade school will lead to future jobs, and some educators are concerned about the tech industry's significant role, school districts across the United States are gradually adding the programs to their curriculums. For example, New York City public schools are training teachers for classes in 40 high schools next fall, and Chicago's public school system plans to make computer science education a high school graduation requirement in five years.

"There's a big demand for these skills in both the tech sector and across all sectors," says Britt Neuhaus, New York City schools' director of special projects at the office of innovation. The city plans to expand its teacher training efforts and possibly extend it into middle schools.

From The New York Times
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