News / USA

    Obama Stresses Need for 'Computer Science for All'

    FILE - President Barack Obama holds up an Apple iPad during a visit to Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Maryland, Feb. 4, 2014.
    FILE - President Barack Obama holds up an Apple iPad during a visit to Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Maryland, Feb. 4, 2014.
    VOA News

    President Barack Obama on Saturday discussed his plan to give all students across the country the chance to learn computer science in school.

    In his weekly address, Obama noted that with the rapid shifts in the U.S. economy, knowledge of computer science has become a new "basic skill, right along with the three R's," necessary for economic achievement.

    "Today’s auto mechanics aren’t just sliding under cars to change the oil; they’re working on machines that run on as many as 100 million lines of code. That’s 100 times more than the space shuttle," the president said. "Nurses are analyzing data and managing electronic health records. Machinists are writing computer programs. And workers of all kinds need to be able to figure out how to break a big problem into smaller pieces and identify the right steps to solve it."

    The president said that 90 percent of parents want computer science taught at their children’s schools. "Yet right now, only about a quarter of our K-12 schools offer computer science. Twenty-two states don’t even allow it to count toward a diploma."

    Obama then emphasized the need for his Computer Science for All Initiative, which would provide $4 billion in funding for states and $100 million directly for districts in his upcoming budget, and would invest more than $135 million beginning this year through the National Science Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service to support and train computer science teachers.

    The goal of the initiative, he said, is to give "every student in America an early start at learning the skills they’ll need to get ahead in the new economy," and he said he would be calling on "governors, mayors, business leaders and tech entrepreneurs to join the growing bipartisan movement around this cause."

    Americans must all do their part "to make sure all our young people can compete in a high-tech, global economy," Obama said. "They’re the ones who will make sure America keeps growing, keeps innovating and keeps leading the world in the years ahead.  And they’re the reason I’ve never been more confident about our future."

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    by: annymous from: usa
    January 31, 2016 12:42 PM
    when the students can read and write? most the students in public school especially in New York city can not read proper English. their math skill is extremely poor . many teachers can not solve fraction problem. now Mr. Obama is taking about computer science . is Mr. president live in our planet ?before Mr. president want them to learn Computer science , teach them how to read and write!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by: Ricardo from: Brazil
    January 31, 2016 7:36 AM
    Congratulations President Obama! You are absolutely right. No country in the world can become developed without being prepared in tecnology. Measures such as this makes the US a global superpower.
    In Response

    by: Ricardo from: Brazil
    February 01, 2016 6:42 AM
    Dear Mr. meanbill from: USA
    Problems in the education system affect many countries, I know. However, I applaud President Obama's effort. The United States lost their basic industries to many countries in Asia. It needs to keep high-tech industries in the country to avoid unemployment. I consider all measures to preserve employment should be welcome.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    January 31, 2016 8:39 AM
    Hey Ricardo _ The US has a really big problem teaching a lot of students just to read and write, [and now], the president thinks that giving them computers will teach them to read and write instead of just playing games on them? .. America has spent trillions of dollars since the 1960s to improve the education system so students can learn to read and write? .. and now? .. Over 60% of high school students in Washington DC couldn't point out were Washington DC was on a US map? .. is that why Obama wants to give them computers? .. so they can locate the city that they live in, on a US map? .. just thinking?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora