www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/06/16/ensuring-our-nations-security-case-for-computer-science-education.htmlLast month, state, industry and education leaders in the United States injected a breath of fresh air into our political system. Amid escalating polarization between presidential candidates, 28 bipartisan governors and 77 leading CEOs and educators from across the country asked Congress to fund K-12 computer science education. And now bipartisan congressional leaders are getting behind this issue with over 135 Republican and Democrats coming together to ask the Appropriations Committee to prioritize K-12 computer science education funding.
So why are these leaders rallying behind this cause and bringing together diverse areas of the country from New York City to Little Rock? Because these communities and these leaders realize that not only prosperity in the United States, but also security, increasingly depends upon our citizens knowing how to meaningfully participate in the digital age.
Cyber warfare against the United States is on the rise with numerous countries attempting to gain access into our computer networks, government and private. These attacks can occur countless times every hour from sources worldwide. Clearly, the defenses required to repel these attacks are immense and constantly evolving.
However, recent reports show that the United States is not providing the resources or opportunity for citizens to adequately fill the increasing demand for cybersecurity careers.
This reality is jeopardizing the cybersecurity of our country, putting our national defense, businesses, and personal information at increased risk.
In the most egregious of many recent examples, last year China engaged in a successful cyber attack on the Office of Personnel Management. These attacks are unlikely to subside.
Economically, the stakes are equally high. Investment in K-12 computer science education is essential to ensuring our future workforce is equipped with the skills needed to fill critical U.S. jobs and keep America competitive for decades to come.
Here at home, computing occupations are now the largest source of all new wages, accounting for more than 500,000 currently unfilled computing jobs in the U.S.
Nevertheless, last year our colleges and universities produced fewer than 50,000 computer science graduates. This isn't likely to change without a robust emphasis on computer science in our K-12 educational system.
Currently only 1 out of 4 U.S. schools teach meaningful computer science. And even though the number of students taking advanced placement (AP) computer science has almost doubled in the past two years, less than 10 percent of high schools in the United States teach it. Among the small fraction of U.S. students who take AP computer science, only 20 percent are female and even fewer are Black or Hispanic.
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