BROWARD — Students, education and industry leaders praise the new partnership between Broward County Public Schools and Code.org, a national, nonprofit organization that helps students learn computer science in school.
On Tuesday, Jan. 21 Superintendent Robert W. Runcie accompanied by state and local education officials announced the collaboration at a press conference, which included live coding demonstrations.
Margo Day, vice president, U.S. Education at Microsoft, said the move will help students gain the computer science education needed to succeed and thrive in the 21st century.
“Across sectors, our nation is facing a critical shortage of workers with the skills and computer science training needed to sustain American innovation. By 2020, there will be one million more computing jobs than students with the education needed to fill these openings. That’s why more districts across the country should consider following Broward’s lead,” Day said.
Through the Code.org partnership, middle and high school students will receive increased access to high-quality computer science courses, curriculum and resources. Teachers will also have new opportunities for professional development.
“Computer science is just as foundational today as basic algebra or chemistry. Taking one of these courses early on can be life-changing for “Broward students,” said Hadi Partovi, co-founder and CEO of Code.org.
“This is an incredible opportunity for our students. Today’s generation is growing up in a high-tech world. The skills they learn in computer science will benefit them throughout their lives and can open doors to many high paying, in demand jobs,” said Superintendent Robert W. Runcie.
Olayemi Awofadeju, principal of South Broward High School is excited about the opportunities open to students through the partnership.
“Our vision is to educate today’s students for tomorrow’s world, and our commitment is to ensure that each student is prepared
to maneuver through tomorrow’s world mastering the future technological advancements because they have a solid foundation and understanding of computer literacy,” she said.
Students also recognized the benefit of some of the courses that they will be able to take through code.org.“Implementation of computer programming and coding in high school is a profound advancement in preparing students for the world of technology that is ahead of them,” said Zak Meyers, a ninth grade student. “Having this opportunity presented to me at my high school is something that I am grateful for and highly anticipating.”
Jesse Panuccio, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity spoke to the need that exists for students with computer science skills. “Florida has over 20,000 computer science jobs open and just under 2,000 graduates to fill the demand. This partnership shows bold and innovative thinking to prepare Florida students for high demand jobs that will drive our economy,” Panuccio said.