Computer Science: A New Language in Florida Students?

Future of Work issues spans our culture as workplaces become more and more dependent on digital tools and tasks. On one technology vs. culture front, one small slice of the larger national debate about our education system and its content is challenging our traditional language requirements. The questions are: do our K12 students need to learn to "code"?  Is this a skill that is becoming necessary for most workplaces? Can coding/programming be considered a "foreign language" If so, should it be required or be an option to meet that high school requirement? 
he debates continues and questions the heart of education. What will be needed by the workforce in different industry sectors? Florida senators approved a bill allowing high school students to take computer coding classes in place of foreign language requirements. The bill (SB 468), introduced by Sen. Jeremy Ring’s (D-Parkland), won by a large margin in the Senate, but it got little traction in the Florida House.  The Senate bill would have made "coding" a foreign language starting last fall (2018-19). The argument is that technological skills are universal and necessary “for every industry,” Ring told USA TODAY.  “If you don’t have an understanding of technology, you will be left behind. It’s a basic skill, as much as reading and writing.” Ring said.
Not everyone agrees. Several organizations, including the NAACP's Florida Conference and Miami-Dade branch, the Florida chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Spanish American League Against Discrimination (SALAD) released a joint statement disputing the bill, reports The Tampa Bay Times.
“Our children need skills in both technology and in foreign languages to compete in today's global economy," the statement reads. "However, to define coding and computer science as a foreign language is a misleading and mischievous misnomer that deceives our students jeopardizes their eligibility to admission to universities and will result in many losing out on the foreign language skills they desperately need even for entry-level jobs in South Florida.”  

The debate goes on here in Florida and across the nation. 

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