Microsoft President Brad Smith: “computer science is space race of today”

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We all know that computer science is of the utmost importance to everybody in this day and age, but it never hurts to remind people every once in a while. In an effort to stoke the fires driving America’s effort to better educate children about computer science, Microsoft president Brad Smith helped to write up an article on the subject for The Wichita Eagle. The article likens today’s fast-paced computer science industry to the space race of sixty odd years ago and calls for American leaders to fight for a more competitive education policy.

The best education policies are developed at the state and local levels. But this problem can’t be solved unless the federal government plays a limited but important role.

Smith also mentioned that Microsoft and several other CEOs have joined several school superintendents and a bipartisan mix of 27 governors in demanding higher standards for computer science education in the country. It just so happens that the points outlined by the group are not dissimilar to the points that drove the United States to action back when Sputnik launched 60 years ago.

Like the Space Race era, the call to congress brings up the fear that the United States won’t be able to compete with other countries – the only difference now is the competition. Microsoft and its allies are concerned that, if we refuse to impose tech-relevant education standards on our nation’s school systems, the United States will no longer be a relevant player in the technology world decades in the future.

This isn’t the first time that Microsoft joined efforts to combat the lack of sufficient computer science education in the United States. Just a few months ago Microsoft supported a petition for the same thing, and the company has a storied track record of trying to improve the integrity of education in the US.