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C'est la Z

Is Cs for All Worth Doing

Last time I mentioned the pushback on CS for All. While many people are all in for CS for All, resistance is coming from many areas. There's resistance from teachers of other subject areas, people who think it's merely job training for the tech industry (which it can be if done poorly), people who feel it will be implemented at the expense of other important subjects already on the chopping block like music and art, and others.

When I started the intro course at Stuy I tried to design something that would be of value to all Stuy students and also inspire some to continue on to more advanced CS classes. The class has been a requirement for well over a decade at this point. I know that not everyone loved the course but as they say, the proof is in the pudding. It clearly got more people into the pool as gender numbers for our more advanced CS courses got and remained much better since the intro class became a requirement. I can't tell you how many people now in tech have told me that they never considered CS and only got into it from our intro course.

So, we had CS for All at Stuy before there was a CS for All and if exposing more kids to CS was the only benefit it would have been worth it but there's more. In addition to getting more people and more underrepresented people into tech, I've had scores of kids in a huge range of fields come back to exclaim the value of having been forced to take our intro course. These kids became authors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, (non CS) teachers, journalists, venture capitalists, Wall Street people, (non CS) professors and researchers, and more.

The benefit of being in the latter stages of a career is that you can look back at years of results and see the good and the bad.

There's no doubt in my mind that the battle to get a good CS course to every Stuy student was one worth fighting and winning.

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