Major Bill de Blasio of New York ties his education agenda to economic inequality. On Sept. 16, the mayor delivered an address in a school in the Bronx to introduce early education in tech as a strategy to provide all American children an opportunity to economic progress.
Blasio has forged a partnership with New York City's business community to deliver computer science and other technology programs to low-income schools, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The project aims to expose all American children to basic programming languages such as Scratch and tech innovations such as robots. Computer Science will not become a graduation requirement; middle and high schools may offer it as an elective.
The venture is likely to meet challenge, the most prominent is the lack of teachers trained to teach computer science courses. The state of New York currently has no computer science teacher certification and there is a considerable dearth of college students taking up science education, the New York Times reports.
Two other American cities have pledged to offer computer science courses to their students. In Chicago, at least a quarter of elementary pupils will be studying computer science by 2018. By that year, a year-long computer science course will be a graduation requirement in Chicago.
Meanwhile in San Francisco, the Board of Education had voted in June to offer computer science from pre-kindergarten through high school and to make it mandatory through eighth grade.
The United States houses the most number of tech companies in the world. American students and young professionals desire to have a bright future in the industry. US cities aspire to become the next Silicon Valley.
President Barrack Obama is very supportive of the U.S. tech industry. He seeks to keep the country's growth in tech going by encouraging tech giants to employ women and members of underrepresented groups.
"Hiring women isn't just the right thing for companies to do. It's more profitable," said Megan Smith, the U.S. chief technology officer of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy. Smith referred to a McKinsey and Co. research that reports gender-diverse businesses earn more.