Wired Magazine Features Arkansas’ Computer Coding Effort

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 53 views 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s signature campaign platform policy to push for computer coding in high schools is garnering national attention from the high-tech magazine, Wired.

State legislators passed a law, as part of Hutchinson’s legislative package, to mandate computer coding be taught in high schools and charter schools across Arkansas.

As Hutchinson jokes in the article, “It’s probably the first time in the history of politics that the word ‘coding’ was used in a political commercial.”

It’s not because Hutchinson, former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, has a personal passion for coding (he confesses he only recently learned what “Javascript” is), but because he believes fostering a generation of computer science-savvy graduates will give an unprecedented boost to the Arkansas economy in years to come.

“Whether you’re looking at manufacturing and the use of robotics or the knowledge industries, they need computer programmers,” he says. “If we can’t produce those workers, we’re not going to be able to attract and keep the industry we want.”

Hadi Partovi, co-founder and CEO of Code.org, a non-profit organization that advocates for computer science education in schools and builds tools to help students learn to code, adds credibility to the argument in the article.

“No matter what you want to major in, computer science is now impacting the world at a foundational level,” he says. “You learned about gravity and the digestive system, not because you became a physicist or biologist. It’s just learning about how the world works, and for today’s kids, learning how technology works is equally foundational.”

Read the full article at this link.