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Education Programming

Microsoft Spending $75M To Boost K-12 CS Education, Put TEALS In 4,000 Schools 48

theodp writes: An NSF-funded evaluation of the Microsoft TEALS program — which sends volunteer software engineers with no teaching experience into high schools to teach kids and their teachers computer science — isn't scheduled to be completed until 2018. But having declared a K-12 CS education emergency (which it's linked to an H-1B visa emergency), Microsoft is going full speed ahead and spending $75 million to boost computer science in schools. The software giant told USA today that it aims to put TEALS in 700 high schools in the next three years and in 4,000 over the next decade, focusing on urban and rural districts to reach more young women and minorities. "In the U.S. alone, the economy will create 1.4 million new computing jobs by the year 2022," wrote Microsoft President and Code.org Board member Brad Smith. "Yet, less than a quarter of U.S. high schools currently teach computer science. That's not enough and we're working with schools and policy-makers to change that."
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Microsoft Spending $75M To Boost K-12 CS Education, Put TEALS In 4,000 Schools

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  • I'd like to know what makes programming so good for learning, but not management skills. With management schools, kids could think of new ways to support themselves, or at least be way more prepared to find careers that will take them through life. Learning programming just creates new slaves, while perhaps learning a bit of logic. But the logic they would learn could be expressed and learned in way more efficient ways than actually writing a program. If anything, the logic is obfuscated by putting it i
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Learning programming just creates new slaves

      That's the point. That's what they want.

      • Agreed, but what I don't understand is, why are the school divisions falling for it? That's who needs to be fighting this battle.
        • Because they need the funding for equipment, and to free up their very limited budgets for other tasks. US teachers have very limited career choices and are juggling enormous social and bureaucratic demands, in an extremely stressful work environment. It's difficult to refuse such funding and support when they are scrambling to find teachers with computer skills who will, in fact, teach instead of switching to industry computer programming for far more money.

          • So we through teachers on the heap with Uber workers and free interns. Instead of making things better, let's take advantage of people who are in a bad situation and capitalize on it.
            • So we through teachers on the heap with Uber workers

              How about we start with the one who taught you English?

              They don't even sound the fucking same, you thick ignorant pillock.

              • Admittedly, my hands don't always type what my mind has in it and I don't always preview well enough. If I could have edited it after it was posted I would have, but I couldn't.
          • Because they need the funding for equipment, and to free up their very limited budgets for other tasks.

            Got to be careful. A lot of these donations are on a matching basis, so they can end up actually pulling money from other areas.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Well, as most people are idiots (and that unfortunately includes kids), MBAs would be perfect. The MBA is the reliable mark of anybody that cannot understand things but is still willing to attribute numbers and "manage" them. There is really no more reliable way to identify an idiot with a business-leaning.

      • Many people, like you, totally hate managers and totally discount any skill relating to management. People once relied on large companies to be someone faithful to them. They wouldn't have to learn business or management skills, because the company could hire them and pay them well for the skill they did have. There were enough 'suckers' to be part of the people organizing for the company to run.

        This balance is almost gone in today's economy. These are the skills that kids need, because unless they kn
        • by gweihir ( 88907 )

          And there you are wrong about me, on several counts. But you had to fit my statement somehow into your simplified world-view...

          I have met quite a few good managers. None of them went the MBA-route. In fact, most of the MBA-managers I know are bean-counters that do not know how to do their job and what it actually entails. Still does not make me "hate" them, that is just a transparent attempt by you to slander me.

          • Ok fair enough... I mean management and business skills, not MBA.
            • by gweihir ( 88907 )

              O.k. then. Actual management and business skills are beneficial to have. For example, I do mostly technical work, but I run frequently into situations where I have to decide whether something is cost-effective or not and that universally has business-aspects. Or I have to take over and drag meetings along because nobody else does and I am the external person that can do this without stepping on people's toes (this has to be done always politely, of course). Or I have to suggest management things to managers

              • I don't know much about what an MBA 'entails' as opposed to general business skills. MBA is the only degree that I know of that is related to business skills, and I know a lot of technical people get them. I've never looked into getting it myself, or what other better alternatives may be.
    • Management is not 'thinking of new ways to support themselves." Management is learning how to get other people to obey you after you have been hired as their boss.

      You are talking about entrepreneurship skills, something that is very hard to teach. Most studies show that it has to do more with how you are raised. Recently a study came out stating that those that survived disaster with little personal damage basically become pro-risk and are far more likely to start their own business.

  • Salaries are too high so they need to increase competition for available jobs to drive the price down.
    • You got it. There has been hardly any wage increases. Shortages always lead to higher prices. If there are no higher prices, the shortage is a lie.

      Whats the rate of growth for salaries? A good rule of thumb is that there isn't' a shortage until nominal prices have doubled.

  • by Lord Duran ( 834815 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @01:16PM (#50556341)

    I've heard of this time and time again. Is there any evidence that software engineers are good teachers? I mean, the challenge in K-12 is getting control of the students, not the teaching material (which is low level and entirely uninteresting).

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Most people are not good teachers. Those that are have learned how to be over a long time and brought specific talent to the table in the first place. There is no reason to believe software engineers can do any better. But hey, it is Microsoft. Doing things badly is what they excel at.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dougg76 ( 1078049 )
      We live near MS land and my son just finished a course where they sent a few programmers from MS to teach the course. While they did seem like capable programmers, they were not very good teachers. I think only 20% or so of the people who started the class finished. I tried to make my son drop the class because it was taking so much time from other classes that it was negatively impacting his grades. Interestingly enough, he did pass the AP exam, but I mark that more up to his participation in the First
      • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @08:59PM (#50558703)

        We live near MS land and my son just finished a course where they sent a few programmers from MS to teach the course. While they did seem like capable programmers, they were not very good teachers.

        THIS!

        I rememberd my initial foray into Linux, I'd go online with a question, and the answer always came back:

        "Oh, that's simple! All you have to do is" - and then immediately launched into a dissertation that had my head spinning in 5 seconds or less.

        And I figured out pretty quickly that the person answering was trying to answer my question, but also trying to impress me with how smart he was. As well, a lot of things he took for granted that everyone knew.

        And that is bad teaching. A teacher has to break things down, and bring them to the level of the person being taught. And most software engineers I know can't do that. Because they are pretty darn smart - just ask them.

  • by theodp ( 442580 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @01:24PM (#50556381)

    Microsoft's announcement coincidentally came a day after New York City announced an $81M public-private K-12 CS mandate [slashdot.org], which prompted Microsoft's Smith to join fellow FWD.us PAC backers [www.fwd.us] Ron Conway and Fred Wilson, as well other execs from Google, Facebook, and Goldman Sachs, to explain to the masses "Why Computer Science for All is Good for All" in An Open Letter from the Nation's Tech and Business Leaders [medium.com]. Making an argument worthy of a tantrum-throwing toddler [babble.com], the execs exclaimed in a pull-quote, "We need talent [venturebeat.com], we need it now, and we simply cannot find enough."

    • "We need talent [venturebeat.com], we need it now, and we simply cannot find enough."

      What they mean is:

      We need talent [at a wage we are willing to pay], we need it now [but not so much that we are willing to train people, and spend the time and effort developing corporate training of people with aptitude], and we simply cannot find enough [who are willing to move to our area, fund their own skills development, accept a mediocre wage, put in longer than normal hours, have a lower than average quality of liv

  • by swell ( 195815 ) <jabberwock@poe[ ].com ['tic' in gap]> on Saturday September 19, 2015 @01:59PM (#50556543)

    Thousands are being laid off at HP, Qualcomm and others.
    Most have little hope of an equivalent job.
    So much for the urgent need for programmers.

  • by arielCo ( 995647 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @02:23PM (#50556659)

    volunteer software engineers with no teaching experience into high schools to teach kids and their teachers computer science

    It's like they're trying to put kids off CS before they even have to choose.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In an expensive move MS invests $75M to try to steer CS education toward propitiatory closed source environment.

  • “Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!” ref [zgp.org]

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