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Is K-12 CS Education the Next Common Core? 113

theodp (442580) writes In an interview with The Washington Post's Lyndsey Layton that accompanied her report on How Bill Gates Pulled Off the Swift Common Core Revolution (the Gates Foundation doled out $233 million in grants to git-r-done), Gates denied that he has too much influence in K-12 education. Despite Gates' best efforts, however, there's been more and more pushback recently from both teachers and politicians on the standards, GeekWire's Taylor Soper reports, including a protest Friday by the Badass Teacher Association, who say Gates is ruining education. "We want to get corporations out of teaching," explained one protester. If that's the case, the "Badasses" probably won't be too pleased to see how the K-12 CS education revolution is shaping up, fueled by a deep-pocketed alliance of Gates, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and others. Google alone has already committed $90 million to influence CS education. And well-connected, which has struck partnerships with school districts reaching over 2M U.S. students and is advising NSF-funded research related to the nation's CS 10K Project, will be conducting required professional development sessions for K-12 CS teachers out of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon offices this summer in Chicago, New York City, Boston, and Seattle. So, could K-12 CS Education ("Common Code"?) become the next Common Core?
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Is K-12 CS Education the Next Common Core?

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  • Re:The way of Nokia (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jythie ( 914043 ) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @10:02AM (#47340231)
    You see the same basic problem at american universities today, the big tech companies have pushed them to act more like trade schools then universities. Luckily america is large and diverse enough that the impact is pretty muted, though I do think it is producing less well rounded CS graduates.

    However for K-12 it makes a bit more sense, depending on what exactly they teach. K-12 is supposed to give students a well rounded "bit of everything", and CS should probably be in there. The big thing I worry about is the cost, how much of the standards depend on specific hardware and software? Though I guess for really poor schools they can always do CS by hand. Hrm, actually, that might not be a bad thing. Computational Theory classes at least can generally be done with pencil and paper, as can linear algebra, digital circuits, etc.
  • by Maury Markowitz ( 452832 ) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @10:23AM (#47340319) Homepage

    "Badasses" probably won't be too pleased to see how the K-12 CS education revolution is shaping up, fueled by a deep-pocketed alliance of Gates, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and others"

    So a group of rich nerds who freely admit their companies consist almost solely of overworked white males with no life and have absolutely no background in education are going to pay their way to changing the education system they don't understand?

    What could possibly go wrong?

    If they did this to congress we'd call it special interest group lobbying, or bribery, and would be printing stories about how money buys everything and how bad that is.

    But when it comes to education, we happily accept this bribery because we all have an astonishingly low opinion of the school system, which, it should be obvious, created the country that made these people rich in the first place.

  • Common Core untested (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2014 @11:56AM (#47340757)

    I had heard that there was controversy surrounding Common Core. So I began to investigate how CC performed during testing. What I discovered is that it was completely untested. "It was designed by experts so no testing was required."

  • Re: I hope not. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by funwithBSD ( 245349 ) on Saturday June 28, 2014 @02:07PM (#47341329)

    When you come down to it, if you constantly teaching and demonstrating your values to your kids at home, the school has little influence.

    Another case in point:
    My son understands that I say yes as much as possible, or let him make his own decisions, but no means no. (mom is a little easier to negotiate with)

    When asked a question on a test (also marked wrong) what he would do if his dad said no like the one in the story, his response was "Nothing. I would do something else"

    Asked the teacher why this was marked wrong, and she said that he was expected to come up with a way to convince him.
    When I explained my policy, she admitted she never considered that I only said no when I really really meant "no".

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