Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015 wants every student in every school to learn how to code. The have an inspirational video of software luminaries saying how easy it is to do and then somewhat contradicting themselves by saying they can't hire enough engineers. If addition, subtraction and ten minutes on a web tutorial was enough then Facebook and Microsoft could hire just anyone. The project comes off as being just a little bit self serving. Sure, we need more skilled software engineers but we also hardware engineers and biohackers and makers not to mention doctors and lawyers and accountants.

Rather than getting everyone to code, how about just stopping Oklahoma from banning science teachers from failing students who fail to learn science: “but no student in any public school or institution shall be penalized in any way because the student may subscribe to a particular position on scientific theories,”.

I'm not in any way against learning to code. But you can't code without a reasonable grasp of mathematics. And you're not going to be successful as a professional developer if you can't communicate. And when your code inevitably goes horribly wrong then debugging is the very essence of the scientific method. Maths, literacy and science come first, are relevant to many careers and the US isn't doing a particularly great job of delivering the goods. 

Get the basics right and plenty of students will become developers. 

Has France Cracked Fixing Education?

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Has France Cracked Fixing Education?

The French are close to making it illegal to deny a second genocide. I was going to write a post despairing at the increasing number of thought crimes in Europe. Bad form, maybe, however does there really need to a law?

But maybe this is part of a far grander plan. It starts with history, then maybe geography (Can't spot Finland? Six months community service!), mathematics (Don't know how to figure out the volume of a cylinder? Two years and a fine!) and science (Can't sketch the Krebs Cycle? Life without the possibility of parole!).

Once every incorrect answer is against the law maybe children will start paying more attention in schools. That must be behind then ban on headscarves as well, it's not xenophobic, just trying to make sure that the view of the blackboard isn't obstructed.

(Photo credit: stttijn)