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Louisiana TOPS Has Dropped the Computer Science Requirement for 2014 Graduates – Is This a Good Idea?

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I learned something about the Louisiana TOPS program recently. The requirements for 2013 graduates encouraged a half credit in Computer Science. I say encouraged because there was a long list of computer classes from which to choose with the option of substituting half a unit “of an elective from among the other subjects listed in the core curriculum.” The requirements for 2014 do not. I know a lot of people think that kids know all about computers before they get to high school, but that’s not really true. There are exceptions, but for the most part, kids know how to play games on an iPhone and how to Google T.I. & Pharrell, but they do not know how to do academic research on the computer, or Power Point or computer coding– the kinds of things that will help with their education and getting a good job. If you ask me, if there’s anything that young people should be studying, nowadays, it’s Computer Science. I read last week in The Advocate that Lafayette’s Acadian Middle School had seven “hard to fill Math jobs” open so I can’t help but wonder if the real problem is that the high schools couldn’t get computer teachers. I even reached out to the Office of Student Financial Assistance for information about how the decision was made and why and was referred to their legal department. That was a month ago and I haven’t heard back from anyone yet.

What do you think? Should Louisiana students be required to take a course in Computer Technology Literacy, Business Computer Applications, Computer Networking, Digital Graphics & Animation, or Database Design & Programming, etc.?



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