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WA Gov. Sides With Microsoft: Philanthropy-Funded K-12 CS Education Now the Law 166

theodp writes: During public hearings on WA State's House Bill 1813, which took aim at boys' historical over-representation in K-12 computer classes, the Office of the WA State Superintendent of Public Instruction voiced concerns that by relying on the generosity of corporations, wealthy individuals, and nonprofits to fund STEM, computer science, and technology programs, learning opportunities would be limited to a small group of students, creating disparity of opportunity. "If this is a real priority," pleaded Chris Vance, "fund it fully" (HB 1813, like the White House K-12 CS plan, counts on philanthropy to make up for tax shortfalls). But legislators in the WA House and Senate — apparently more swayed by the pro-HB 1813 testimony of representatives from Microsoft and Microsoft-backed TEALS and Code.org — overwhelmingly passed the bill, sending it to Governor Jay Inslee for his signature. Not to worry. On Wednesday, the bill was signed into law by Gov. Inslee, who was perhaps influenced by the we-need-to-pass-HB-1813 blogging of Microsoft General Counsel and Code.org Board member Brad Smith, who coincidentally is not only responsible for Microsoft's philanthropic work, but was also co-chair of Gov.-elect Inslee's transition team. The WA state legislative victory comes less than 24 hours after the San Francisco School Board voted to require CS instruction beginning with preschool.
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WA Gov. Sides With Microsoft: Philanthropy-Funded K-12 CS Education Now the Law

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  • by Chris Boyd ( 2826357 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @10:25AM (#49891605)
    Big industry won't be able to claim a shortage of CS workers to justify more H1B visas for long. But by that time, the market will be so over-saturated with software developers, and salaries will plummet - then they won't need H1B visas, because American software devs will be more affordable than foreign workers on H1B visas.
    • Big industry won't be able to claim a shortage of CS workers to justify more H1B visas for long.

      Sure they will. They'll be able to claim anything they want and with their money they will have plenty of receptive ears.

      • Yup!

        What I'd like to know is where's the funds and laws to deal with boys under-representation in achieving college degrees?

    • by plopez ( 54068 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @10:32AM (#49891683) Journal

      The market is already saturated, by clueless newbie lee7 wannabes. We need quality not quantity. It was quantity over quality that devastated the American car industry. If we have quality everything else will fall into place.

    • by koan ( 80826 )

      Doesn't matter, TISA is going to simplify the process and there will be a flood of foreign workers, why do you think they are keeping it "secret".

    • by mikael ( 484 )

      The foreign workers will always be more willing to shack up four to a room.

    • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @11:06AM (#49891959) Journal

      It is actually worse. We're funding education for the next 20 years, based on what the past 20 years were like. Think about it for a second, we are reflexively thinking that our world in 20 years will resemble our world from 20 years ago (40 year gap). This is fairly short sighted and is always the case with education, we're teaching our kids like we should have been educated, but not according to how they need to be educated.

    • They will not be software engineers they will be asking folks if the want fires with that. One of the many fails with outsourcing and H1B is that after destroying an industry the visa people can go home and outsource slave shops can just lay off. Regardless, the cost of living will make sure they kill off any interest inworking in an industry they target in the US.
  • by Cpt_Kirks ( 37296 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @10:28AM (#49891637)

    Females simply don't seem to like software development work much.

    Female developers tend to move away from development into project management, as soon as they can.

    Sure call my sexist, misogynist, whatever. I've been a developer for over 25 years, and am just reporting what I have seen.

    At least this won't take too much in the way of tax dollars.

    • Sure call my sexist, misogynist, whatever.

      OK, so your "whatever" is sexist and mysogynist, but what should we call it?

      • Sure call my sexist, misogynist, whatever.

        OK, so your "whatever" is sexist and mysogynist, but what should we call it?

        I thought he meant to give it a ring, but didn't leave a number. :-p

        Now cue the "grammar nazi" remarks... but we're just having a little silly fun.

      • Sure call my sexist, misogynist, whatever.

        OK, so your "whatever" is sexist and mysogynist, but what should we call it?

        "Mjölnir"

    • by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @01:35PM (#49893279) Homepage Journal

      You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them they cry.

    • How about stupid if you think that's the take away...
  • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @10:31AM (#49891675) Journal

    That will mean "Philanthropy" controlled.

  • OK (Score:4, Informative)

    by koan ( 80826 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @10:31AM (#49891677)

    So CS classes are critical for our future, while at the same time H1B's are replacing Americans (Disney) and the latest leak of TISA shows they may be simplifying the ability to bring in foreign workers.

    in its Schedule, Parties shall allow entry and temporary stay of [contractual service
    suppliers and independent professionals 3 ] for a minimum of [X%] of the following
    sectors/sub-sectors:
    Final wording subject to further discussion, including on the cross-reference to categories in the AU
    submission on the temporary entry categories.
    4-FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY-
    LIMITED
    TISA/DEC.2014/negotiating text/MNP
    as of 13 February, 2015
    Without Prejudice
    Computer and related services:
    9. Consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware (CPC 841)
    10. Software implementation services (CPC 842)
    11. Data processing services (CPC 843)
    12. Data base services (CPC 844)
    13. Other (CPC 845+849)
    Research and Development services:
    14. R&D services on natural sciences (CPC 851)
    15. R&D services on social sciences and humanities (CPC 852)
    16. Interdisciplinary R&D services (CPC 853)

    Huh?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Wow,

      That is about as clear as the original poster was in announcing what Washington state was doing. I am still not sure if the philanthropy backed education is designed to shut boys out the way so many of the recent efforts have done.

      I do see a lot of prejudiced BS going on.

    • So CS classes are critical for our future, while at the same time H1B's are replacing Americans (Disney) and the latest leak of TISA shows they may be simplifying the ability to bring in foreign workers.

      You seem to have misunderstood. s/our future/stockholder returns/

  • by eepok ( 545733 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @10:48AM (#49891835) Homepage
    "During public hearings on WA State's House Bill 1813, which took aim at boy's historical over-representation in K-12 computer classes, the Office of the WA State Superintendent of Public Instruction voiced concerns..."

    My problem with the whole "there aren't enough girls in CS" thing is that everyone assumes that males are specifically targeted and tracked into computer-related academic/research/career paths. That's not the case. By and large, it's social outcasts who take up computers as a hobby are tracked into computer-related academic/research/career paths and those social outcasts are more commonly male.

    And they will continue to be male. And social outcasts.

    So, at best, these kinds of initiatives will just track more female social outcasts into computer-oriented subjects/careers. Want more "normal people" in computer-oriented careers? Fat chance, buddy.
    • Why does nobody ever worry about boys under-representation on things, like Nursing ?

      I mean, I know the reason why there are disparities between genders in certain fields, and it isn't representative of some hidden misogynist agenda of the HeMan Woman's Haters Club. The fact is, that there are Gender Attractions to certain kinds of work, and why can't we just leave it at that.

      Men and Women tend to be different.

      • Because women need "better" representation in fields that provide the potential to make "more money".

        Pretty funny, huh?

        I mean it couldn't be that a certain stripe of feminists have bought into that idea while some self-serving politicians are trying to drive down salaries by saturating the market with sub-standard labor, could it? Because otherwise, we'd be seeing women push for more women in the trades, huh?

        And that wouldn't be nearly as funny either.

        • by pla ( 258480 )
          Because women need "better" representation in fields that provide the potential to make "more money".

          You don't know many nurses, do you?
          • No, I'm an engineer. I know jack about nursing, but so does any politician bending over backwards to get people behind STEM initiatives.

            What I know is that STEM is played up as somehow "glamorous"...here we are, the engineers and scientists of the world, the cultural elite, the "geek chic", the ones who make all the money and get all the visibility and notoriety. We're "rock stars" and "ninjas".

            Being in STEM, according to politicians, not only confers money, but status. If that wasn't the case, why not p

        • Well, if the liberal Politicians in DC were so hung up on Women's equality in pay, then they would pay their women staffers the same as the male staffers, but ... they don't.

          And if women do really work for less, then any bright American Entrepreneur type would hire only women, because it would cost them less, giving them a substantial advantage in the marketplace.

          However, those things are NOT true. A man typically works every day possible (gaining experience), and women take time off to have kids and whatno

      • That's fine as long as the "Men and women tend to be different" for non-discriminatory differences.

        • That's fine as long as the "Men and women tend to be different" for non-discriminatory differences.

          Define ... non-discriminatory differences?

          How does one tell a gender preference towards solitary work (Computer Programming) or towards social type work (nursing, teachers, social work) verses discrimination based on gender by statistics alone?

          The problem is, that we are ascribing as discriminatory, things that just might be normal and natural, but statistically looks like gender bias. This is my complaint about under-representation claims, based on statistics alone. Yes, they are underrepresented, but mayb

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by eepok ( 545733 )
        To speak to the nursing, the greater problem presented in that industry tends to be that there are more practicing male MDs than female MDs with females being weeded out and eventually going into nursing. So, it gets spun from "not enough males in nursing" to "women get forced out of MDs and over-saturate nursing".

        I agree that males and females tend to be different, but a lot of that has to do with upbringing. How many people can honestly say that if their male child wanted to play with dolls and be a nu
        • by nbauman ( 624611 )

          To speak to the nursing, the greater problem presented in that industry tends to be that there are more practicing male MDs than female MDs with females being weeded out and eventually going into nursing. So, it gets spun from "not enough males in nursing" to "women get forced out of MDs and over-saturate nursing".

          That's not what's happening. Medical schools are admitting as many women as men now. https://www.aamc.org/newsroom/... [aamc.org]

          The route to medical school and nursing school are completely different. They draw different people.

          Medical school is a much more intensive course, with more years of clinical training. Most medical students that I know come from upper-class families, where their parents could send them to top K-12 and undergraduate schools, and as we know, family income is the factor most strongly associate

      • Redundantly, at the risk of being redundant, there is concern over a lack of men in nursing. Men are especially valued specializations requiring heavy lifting (traditionally, post-op orthopaedic floors, rehab, some medical floors). There isn't nearly as many resources being put to men in nursing as there seems to be women going into "Computer Science." I put quotes on that, since many of the 'civilians' I talk to think Computer Science is one and the same as web and 'app' development.
        • by eepok ( 545733 )
          Speaking of the "heavy lifting" requirement, nothing would make me happier than seeing better female representation in heavy/hard labor industries. There have been some highly visible construction industry cases wherein females in the industry were treated inappropriately. But those women were setting the groundwork.

          Then there's plumbing, sewage, heavy machinery, roadwork, waste management, etc.

          Those are the high visibility and hard working positions that, if females started competing for, males wou
      • by nbauman ( 624611 )

        Why does nobody ever worry about boys under-representation on things, like Nursing ?

        I mean, I know the reason why there are disparities between genders in certain fields, and it isn't representative of some hidden misogynist agenda of the HeMan Woman's Haters Club. The fact is, that there are Gender Attractions to certain kinds of work, and why can't we just leave it at that.

        Men and Women tend to be different.

        Actually, back in the 1970s and 1980s, there was some discussion in the nursing profession about the overabundance of women. One of the nursing associations had a logo with a stylized design of a nurse, that looked female. After some discussion, they changed the design to make it more androgynous. But the ratio of male to female nurses hasn't changed much.

        I would hypothesize that there was a strong movement to move women into more desirable male occupations. But there was no corresponding movement to move m

    • My problem with the whole "there aren't enough girls in CS" thing is that everyone assumes that males are specifically targeted and tracked into computer-related academic/research/career paths.

      Well that's not really a problem. Even if there's not a natural 50/50 ratio of males/females that want to go into computer-related careers, now that it's a law, the government will be able to force girls to choose those careers at gunpoint if needs be.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @10:52AM (#49891869) Homepage
    I dont have any issues with additional CS or code education in schools, but we need to reconsider how we go about this. educators should take aim at systemic inequality in the classroom and foster a more collaborative experience for everyone. What we typically get from Microsoft and company is half-assed attempts to make computer science pink, cuddly, and dollhouse-shaped. as fo the whole 'The U.S. is facing a shortage of CS graduates.' drumbeat, it is disingenous in its wording. What Microsoft bemoans is the lack of CS graduates as disposably plentiful and affordable as fry-o-lator cooks at McDonalds. Weve spent so much time asking why everyone doesnt code, that we never stopped to ask if everyone could or even should code.
  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Thursday June 11, 2015 @11:02AM (#49891929)

    Yea, this is a great thing to teach our kids ... do things you can't afford to do, and force someone else to pay for it or beg for money to do so.

    WTF happened to running a balanced budget and setting a good example to our kids about living within their means, why the fuck are we teaching them in elementary school that you can depend on someone else to give you hand outs to survive.

    Its no wonder the rest of the world likes to take our jobs, we're raising a bunch of dependent babies.

    GIRLS DON'T FUCKING LIKE COMPUTER SCIENCE, GET THE FUCK OVER IT.

    Its not because all men in it are assholes, its BECAUSE THEY DON'T FUCKING LIKE IT. They are wired differently than men, this is a KNOWN AND ACCEPTED FACT to anyone who doesn't have political correctness shoved so far up their ass they can taste it.

    Women do somethings better than men, and like some things men don't like, and dislike some things that men like ... conversely, Men do some things better than women, like things women don't like and dislike some things that men like.

    YES THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS, but those are tiny number and you don't change everything because someone who doesn't even DO CS work thinks there should be more women in CS work.

    Men and women ARE NOT EQUAL. STOP TRYING TO PRETEND THEY ARE.

    If you think men and women are 100% equal, then you haven't paid attention to even basic anatomy.

    I'm not saying one is better than the other, I'm saying they aren't the same and its fucking stupid to keep shoving shit down the throats of one of the sexes just to appease some douche who things he's crusading for the good of all women.

    • ... this is a KNOWN AND ACCEPTED FACT ...

      I don't know it and I don't accept it.

      Citation, please.

    • When did Slashdot turn so misogynist?

      Evidence 1: The parent of this post.

      Evidence 2: The moderators got it to a 5 rating.
    • GIRLS DON'T FUCKING LIKE COMPUTER SCIENCE, GET THE FUCK OVER IT.

      Its not because all men in it are assholes, its BECAUSE THEY DON'T FUCKING LIKE IT. They are wired differently than men, this is a KNOWN AND ACCEPTED FACT to anyone who doesn't have political correctness shoved so far up their ass they can taste it.

      Absolutely. There obviously can't be any external factors that could discourage girls from getting into computer science.

  • If Software developers made $250-500k a year, I guarantee there would be no shortage of CS graduates.
    • by ranton ( 36917 )

      If Software developers made $250-500k a year, I guarantee there would be no shortage of CS graduates.

      Of course there would be no shortage, because 80% of current United States CS-related jobs would be off-shored to countries without such outrageous salaries. If you inflate wages above what the market will bear (taking into account the international market), then any industry will suffer the same fate the US auto industry suffered last century.

    • Assuming you're talking about an average industry-wide income - I think you can get to that by having a shortage of talented applicants thereby forcing the industry to compete for them.

      If there's a glut of talent, the scramble for the best of that is less intense, and the talent overall is made cheaper.

    • by sls1j ( 580823 )
      Ahh, the dot-com bubble all over again. Between 1996-In 2000 when I was in college it was like that. What happened was lots, and lots, of people in the CS program. The ones chasing the money ended up hating programming, and because of that were horrible at it. When the bubble burst they found themselves out of work and out of the field, and they were probably glad too.

      CS is a special kind of hell for those that aren't passionate about it.
  • ... Big Business gets to sell stuff, girls get opportunities, schools avoid the stigma of discrimination and get some funding, Big Business says, "This proves how badly we nee H!-B visas in the meantime," ....

  • This again. You have to be Superman or Superwoman or be married to Superwoman or Superman (all bases covered!) or be a lesser hero married to another lesser hero to make enough money to support a family and Government and Industry are *worried* about gender distribution in a particular field of industry.

    Either we live in Kafka Land or the real interests aren't being disclosed. Both may be true. Or maybe the real problems are truly intractable and this what our betters come up with to keep busy.

    How about th

    • by digsbo ( 1292334 )
      You want personal sovereignty. Why not give the voucher to home schooling parents, which in effects subsidizes the stay-home parent?
      • fair enough, I agree with that, too. just complicates things a bit cause what's to stop a bad or extremely needy parent from pocketing the cash. I don't like tests and curricular requirements. To be fair, I haven't thought this out, I just know that I like the idea, and hate the public school system.

    • The industry is playing an progressively larger roll already. Perhaps it's too early to say for sure, but I think what we may see next are other industries: construction, healthcare, agriculture, entertainment, etc, competing with each other in the educational dominance of American children from the cradle on up.

      If you are taught from preschool to 12th grade be a nurse, and your exposure to alternatives are reduced, you'll probably become a nurse. What we're seeing now is just one industry seeking to domina

      • The key to healthy industry involvement is parents having money to pay for education and the choice to buy whatever education they wish. Industry should have a profit motivation to attract students. Between 6 and 20 thousand are spent per kid in the public school system (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/05/23/heres-how-much-each-state-spends-on-public-school-students/) I didn't read the link I'm just looking for a ball park. I'm guessing that enough money to motivate service providers

  • I posted something like this yesterday about the San Francisco CS education mandate. Getting people familiar with computers is good, labeling it as "CS education" is disingenuous. Millenials and "digital natives" aren't CS experts because they can use their iPhones and post on Facebook, nor are they CS experts because they can write a document in Office. If those same people can actually understand how the iPhone does what it does, or have some clue about how an operating system works, then that's different

  • Gotta have more coding slaves to feed the assholes of America.
  • Yes, there's a shortage of programmers. That's why Microsoft laid off 18,000 last year and will layoff another 500 this year.

    • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
      Ms didn't lay off 18k MS programmers, they laid off 13k Nokia designers, marketing, sales, etc from the company purchase. There was a lot of redundant positions and MS trimmed the "fat".
  • Most of the time philanthropy is a good thing, money goes to where it is needed. Since the 90's some of it is about tax payer funding through tax deductions and break granted to wealthy doners who use their philanthropy to influence and many case outright control an industry or market.
  • "But legislators in the WA House and Senate — apparently more swayed by the pro-HB 1813 testimony of representatives from Microsoft and Microsoft-backed TEALS and Code.org — overwhelmingly passed the bill, sending it to Governor Jay Inslee for his signature.

    Not to worry. On Wednesday, the bill was signed into law by Gov. Inslee, who was perhaps influenced by the we-need-to-pass-HB-1813 blogging of Microsoft General Counsel and Code.org Board member Brad Smith, who coincidentally is not only r
  • 40% of chemistry PhDs were women.

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/... [smithsonianmag.com]

    Soviet Russia Had a Better Record of Training Women in STEM Than America Does Today
    Perhaps it's time for the United States to take a page from the Soviet book just this one time
    By Rose Eveleth
    smithsonian.com
    December 12, 2013

    Between 1962 and 1964, 40 percent of the chemistry PhD's awarded in Soviet Russia went to women. At that same time in the United States, that number was a measly five percent. In 2006, that number was still lower than the

    • Actually, not that different in some UW departments. A lot of PhDs awarded in Biostatistics, Medical Genetics and other fields that are computationally heavy are women.

  • Why? Not H1B's although that is amusing to consider how it will screw local hopefuls beyond their wildest dreams. But rather, the natural progression is to university CS and related programs. And here's the catch. They demand Calculus + Physics, and only give token (if any) consideration to what you did in CS in grade school. Not even AP and/or IB CS is all that well respected, if it is respected at all.

    Until the Universities care, it's all a vast waste of time, effort and money.

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