Code.org, which has raised more than $60 million from Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Salesforce, was one of the first companies to tap into the demand for preteen programming literacy. This week, Microsoft is using its retail stores to host Hour of Code workshops, deploying its government affairs team to work with legislators to promote coding, and hosting educational events at its sales offices.
While Code.org wants to give all students better access to computer science education, the organization particularly focuses on reaching girls and minorities who are underrepresented in tech fields. Meanwhile, eight states, 76 school districts and 102 organizations nationwide made pledges to expand access to computer science education to millions of students. "Right now most schools in California don't offer any computer science classes and sadly, that disparity is punctuated by striking gender and racial gaps", Lt. Governor Newsom said. Some of these pledges include a onetime $15 million investment from Florida Governor Rick Scott, a $500,000 fund in Arkansas for computer science teachers, and a £100 million budget in the United Kingdom for training computer science teachers in 2018.
McCarthy said she hopes her students feel prepared when they enter high school and take other science related courses. According to a recent report from the Brookings Institution, almost two-thirds of new jobs created since 2010 can be classified as needing a "high" or "medium" number of digital skills to complete the job. "I'm looking forward to kicking off Computer Science Week at Phoenix Coding Academy and seeing firsthand their commitment to providing Arizona students with rigorous, high-quality computer science education that equips them for today's job-market". Finally, states should be willing to set aside state funding that can be used to retrain teachers who are interested in teaching computer science.