Hutchinson plugs Arkansas's coding education program on CNBC | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hutchinson plugs Arkansas's coding education program on CNBC

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 12:21 PM

INTO THE FUTURE: But it'll take more than $5 million and a new law. - WIKIPEDIA
  • INTO THE FUTURE: But it'll take more than $5 million and a new law.

It'll surely be overshadowed by his remarks on CNBC today regarding Confederate symbols, but Gov. Asa Hutchinson also wrote an op-ed yesterday for the business news network as part of its annual ranking of "Top states for business." It bears mention given the ongoing uncertainty about the future of testing in Arkansas.

The governor argued that "Arkansas is the national leader in computer coding," thanks to the new state law championed by the governor which requires all public high schools to offer computer programming classes beginning this fall:

As part of our initiative, the state set aside $5 million for teacher training and to reward high-performance schools. Programs such as "Virtual Arkansas" cater to our rural school districts, which may need to offer coding classes online at first. All in all, our groundbreaking plan to expose Arkansas' students to computer coding represents a relatively small investment with the opportunity for a huge return.

Because of this legislation, within a few years I expect Arkansas to develop the most computer-literate workforce in the country. That makes Arkansas a top state for business like no other. 

Really? Hutchinson expects $5 million and a new statutory mandate to make the difference across hundreds of districts statewide? 

I think the idea of expanding coding in high schools — or, really, in younger grades — is a great one. But coding is bound up in both language comprehension and mathematics, and addressing the achievement shortfalls that persist in many Arkansas schools (despite years of gains the state as a whole has made in both math and ELA) is a job that's orders of magnitude larger than $5 million.

If the governor wants Arkansas "to develop the most computer-literate workforce in the country," he'll have to invest the necessary money and energy into building early childhood education, programs that close equity gaps for low-income students, teacher training — and, yes, rigorous assessments.

Tags: , , , ,


Comments (21)

Showing 1-21 of 21

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-21 of 21

Add a comment

More by Benjamin Hardy

  • Supreme Court overturns contempt order against DHS for at-home services rule

    The justices were split, 5-2, with Chief Justice Dan Kemp and Justice Jo Hart dissenting. The ruling appears to have no immediate impact for ARChoices beneficiaries.
    • Apr 18, 2019
  • Update: State Supreme Court orders new trial in Torres capital murder case

    The court remanded the case for a new trial. The reversal was due to an underlying flaw in the legal arguments made by prosecutors in the case, turning on the question of whether an Arkansas trial court had jurisdiction in regards to the underlying felony of rape.
    • Apr 18, 2019
  • Arkansas Medicaid sees enrollment bump

    Though the rise is modest, it is notable because the Medicaid expansion population has shrunk almost every month for the past two years. As highlighted by Governor Hutchinson, enrollment peaked at around 330,000 in early 2017 but has been declining ever since.
    • Apr 15, 2019
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Little Rock school activists announce events for 60th anniversary of Central High crisis

    The group is not affiliated with the official "Reflections of Progress" commemoration of the 60th anniversary. However, at least two of the Little Rock Nine may be joining the group for an event at 2:30 p.m. at the state Capitol in the Old Supreme Court Chamber.
    • Sep 14, 2017
  • Trump tariffs hit farmers hard

    Well, the trade war has begun and the early returns for farmers are not good — sharp reductions in the prices for soybeans and corn. You may have heard that Arkansas, which overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump, has some agricultural interests, particularly in soybeans.
    • Jul 6, 2018
  • Arkansas legislature rejects bipartisan effort to study race relations

    On Friday, the Arkansas Legislative Council soundly rejected a bipartisan effort by two senators to to create a temporary legislative subcommittee to study race relations in the state.
    • Sep 15, 2017

Most Recent Comments


© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation