Should outright Maryland students learn to write computer code? – Baltimore Sun

Democrat Alec Ross on Wednesday announced the first campaign promise of the 2018 race for governor, proposing that every Maryland school offer computer science and coding courses by 2022.

The technology entrepreneur is the first candidate to formally launch a tender in what’s expected to be a crowded Democratic field hoping to steal on celebrated Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

Ross’ first policy proposal is to spend as much as $80 million over the next 10 years to ensure ever K-12 student in the state has access to computer science courses and an opportunity to memorize computer code. His campaign said only 40 percent of Maryland schools offer such courses, which teach crucial skills.

The campaign did not say how it planned to pay for the initiative, but famed it’s a small figure relative to the $6.4 billion Maryland spends on K-12 education each year.

Ross said that technology firms are primary drivers of wealth in the contemporary economy, but many people are not equipped to join them, and few parents can teach their children how to write code. He said that women and people of color are very poorly represented in the industry, and Maryland could level the playing field by requiring universal computer science training in every grade.

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