Several tech companies, including Google, Microsoft and Oracle, are encouraging Massachusetts to include computer science proficiency on the exams high school students take in order to graduate. Currently, students must pass tests in math, English, and one science or technology field. Currently, the other state that has a technology-related high school graduation requirement is South Carolina.
But some question the wisdom of such a requirement. They ask, don’t English and math classes give students all the reasoning skills students need to become programmers if they choose? And which languages should students be taught?
Others say it’s important for students to understand computing, but not necessarily important for them to have development skills. “We don’t measure our English literature teaching by how many authors it produces. Should we measure our computer science programs by how many software engineers we produce?” asks Alec Resnick, co-founder of Somerville STEAM Academy.