President Barack Obama touts his Computer Science for All initiative to help give students, especially girls and minorities, an early start at learning the skills needed for the jobs of the future. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Barack Obama on Saturday (January 30) said he wants to help prepare America's students for the economies of the future by giving all children, especially girls and minorities, better access to computer science classes. Calling computer science a "basic skill" and no longer an "optional" one in the new economy, Obama said his Computer Science for All initiative would give students an "early start" at learning the skills they will need to compete for the jobs of the future. "In the new economy, computer science isn't an optional skill - it's a basic skill, right along with the three "Rs." Nine out of ten parents want it taught at their children's schools. Yet right now, only about a quarter of our K through 12 schools offer computer science. Twenty-two states don't even allow it to count toward a diploma," Obama told the American people during his weekly address. Obama said the initiative would call on Congress to better fund computer science programs over the next three years and would train more teachers for computer science courses. It would also bring together governors, mayors, business leaders and tech executives to join what Obama said was a "growing bipartisan movement around this causes". Obama said only about one in four schools in the U.S. offer computer science classes and that 22 states do not allow such courses to count toward a diploma. The initiative, he said, is in keeping with his State of the Union address in January when he said he was committed to giving all Americans an opportunity to succeed in the new economies of the future.