As the U.S. national debt spirals ever closer to World War Two levels, President Obama has found yet another way to spend money. The administration has announced a $4 billion scheme to make sure computer science students have the right gender and skin colour to satisfy progressives.
The new initiative was announced by the president in his Saturday address. Entitled “Computer Science For All,” it will allocate $4 billion from the upcoming budget to the states and $100 million to districts over the course of three years.
In order to receive the funds, states will have to submit their plans to widen access to computer science in schools. In other words, they’ll have to explain how they’re going to persuade more women and minorities to take the courses. No doubt many budding writers, doctors and lawyers will be pressured into computer science courses by states eager to snap up the diversity dollars.
A White House press release explained that the scheme will “allow more states and districts to offer hands-on CS [computer science] courses across all of their public high schools, get students involved early by creating high-quality CS learning opportunities in elementary and middle schools, expand overall access to rigorous science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) coursework, and ensure all students have the chance to participate, including girls and underrepresented minorities.”
In his address, President Obama said “in the new economy, computer science isn’t an optional skill — it’s a basic skill, right along with the three ‘Rs.’
He’s right, of course. That’s why it’s important that computer science courses attract students who are passionate about the subject, not students who have been tricked, badgered, or pressured by states and districts eager to obtain federal funding.
It’s not just the federal government providing funds. Other organizations including the National Science Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service are also committing funds to the scheme. The president has also called on businesses and philanthropists to contribute.
The president of Microsoft, Brad Smith, has already called the scheme a “social imperative.”
Perhaps he should take a look at the national debt first.