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Does Google Have Too Much Influence Over K-12 CS Education? 66

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-the-hyperlinks dept.
theodp writes:Google recently announced Global Impact Awards for Computer Science, part of the company's $50 million investment to get girls to code. But Google's influence over K-12 CS education doesn't stop there. The Sun-Times reports that Chicago Public School (CPS) teachers are participating in a summer professional development program hosted by Google as part of the district's efforts to "saturate" schools with CS within 3 years: "The launch of CS4All [Computer Science for All], in partnership with Code.org and supported by Google, starts this fall in 60 CPS schools to try to bridge the digital divide and prepare students." And in two weeks, the Computer Science Teachers Association [CSTA] and Google will be presenting the National Computer Science Principles Education Summit. "Attendees at this event have been selected through a rigorous application process that will result in more than 70 educators and administrators working together to strategize about getting this new Advanced Placement course implemented in schools across the country," explains CSTA. The ACM, NSF, Google, CSTA, Microsoft, and NCWIT worked together in the past "to provide a wide range of information and guidance that would inform and shape CS education efforts," according to the University of Chicago, which notes it's now conducting a follow-up NSF-funded study — Barriers and Supports to Implementing Computer Science — that's advised by CPS, CSTA, and Code.org.
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Does Google Have Too Much Influence Over K-12 CS Education?

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  • It's time (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kuberz (3568651) on Friday July 04, 2014 @06:54PM (#47385841)

    It's time schools went to free market.

    Right now, as it stands, if you can't afford a private school for your child, your only real option is to put your child into the public indoctrination system. The system run by inefficient bureaucrats.

    In my county, it costs an average of $12,000 per year, per child. That's for public education. Our most renowned private school is roughly $8,000 per year in tuition. This private school has a top level education. It is not uncommon for children to be held back when transferring to this school, as they have very high standards.

    You want to make sure children get a better education? Let them use the money that is being spent anyway, to send their child to whichever school they chose.

    This creates competition in the education system. Competition between schools will inevitably lead to competition between educators. Which will inevitably lead to better educations, and a greater variety of educational courses.

    You could then offer grant money to schools with specific programs that met specific criteria (like a school that offers a CS class, that proves through some method, that children are competent to some degree, to meet whatever criteria laid out in the grant).

    Or we could dump money into the hands of people that have already have shown they have no idea how to handle it.

  • by matbury (3458347) on Friday July 04, 2014 @07:08PM (#47385913) Homepage

    I don't work for M$, Google, or Apple but I do work in education. I have to agree with russotto about the Gates Foundation's activities in K-12 and higher education. They pay $30,000 to any academic who publishes papers and articles that are supportive of the Common Core. If this doesn't set off alarm bells about conflicts of interest and corrupting academic practice on a big scale, what kind of alarm bells are you waiting for? Up until he was named and shamed for it, he was also a major donor to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org] - They make Dr. Evil look like a lefty bleeding heart liberal). One of ALEC's core beliefs is in privatising everything, including education and they're doing everything they can to undermine and weaken public education so that corporations have a chance at competing with it.

    BTW, Google is now a donor to ALEC. I very much doubt they're getting involved in education to give themselves warm fuzzy altruistic feelings or for any higher purpose. They're currently on a campaign to capture IT services in higher education, taking over email, docs, online storage, etc., AKA "the cloud", and giving them unfettered access to everyone's educational records and web use histories, reliably tied to their identities. They've already been successfully sued in California for spying on students after they said they wouldn't.

    Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, Diane Ravitch, is a historian of education, an educational policy analyst, and a research professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She's highly critical of many of the current corporate campaigns in education has some interesting things to say about the Common Core: http://dianeravitch.net/ [dianeravitch.net]

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