There is an idea that high school curriculum is a bit of a zero sum game. In other words that adding something new can only happen if something else is removed. To some extent that is true. A lot depends on various graduation requirements of course and same places have more room in the schedule than others. But any change in graduation requirements becomes a political issue of sorts. Computer Science, trying to cut out a place for itself, runs into this all the time.
Last week the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics issues a statement called Should mathematics course requirements for high school graduation be satisfied by computer science courses? George Reese wrote a very good Reaction to the NCTM Position Statement
The NCTM position worries that more CS will mean that students will get to college without enough preparation in mathematics. They suggest that CS should only count as a math credit if there are four years of math required for graduation. I’m sure science teachers feel the same way about CS counting as a science requirement. And language teachers about CS as a language requirement. None of these groups want to lose teaching slots for their fellow subject matter teachers. Ah, I mean, none of them wants to see students have less than adequate grounding in math, science, or language.
To me this brings out a bigger problem. I think CS should be required as a CS credit. I don’t see that happening anytime soon – politics – but it is a goal we should be working towards.