Wired gives a long and warm look here on Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s push to get computer coding taught in every high school.
The article raises some points to watch in days ahead. In other states, laws to require computer science courses haven’t always been enforced or fulfilled by meaningful instruction. Arkansas has put aside $5 million to train teachers and reward districts that respond most effectively. Hutchinson himself notes obstacles:
Currently, he says only about 20 teachers in the entire state are “properly prepared” to teach these new courses, which makes teacher training a monstrous undertaking. “There’s a lack of confidence and comfort,” he says. “That comfort level needs to change.”
To ease the transition, the state is offering schools free access to an online education portal called Virtual Arkansas, which can supplement training for both teachers and students.
The idea is good. The follow-through is everything. But, a headline that Arkansas leads in something besides divorce, discrimination or dastardly deeds is nice to see.
I can’t help but remind that this bill passed during a year when the legislature also gave small schools the option not to offer some required courses if no student wanted to take them.