Fewer than half of USA high schools offer computer programming and close to 40 percent don't teach physics, the White House said.
The real estate businesswoman turned entrepreneur turned White House aide has a West Wing portfolio that includes women's economic empowerment, combating human trafficking, paid family leave, a childcare tax credit, workforce development and promoting STEM education, among other initiatives.
While President Donald Trump's hardline base attacks Google, Facebook and Twitter for supposedly censoring conservative voices, the president and major tech firms are embarking on a joint project to improve the nation's education in science, technology, engineering and math. "In recent years with growing technological advancements, the nature of our workforce has increasingly shifted to jobs requiring a different skill set, specifically in coding and computer science", Ivanka Trump told reporters in a conference call. Courses in Computer Science are especially scarce in too many schools and communities, despite the job opportunities that these skills create.
Trump on September 25 signed a memorandum that pledges to spend up to $200 million a year to expand access to "high-quality" STEM education, with a focus on computer science.
Almost 40 percent of high schools did not offer physics in 2015, according to Education Week Research Center. Furthermore, even where classes are offered, there is a serious gender gap: less than a quarter of the students who took the AP-CS A exam nationally in 2016 were girls. On Wednesday, she will highlight STEM and computer education, visiting a public school alongside Microsoft President Brad Smith and nonprofit Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi. The Secretary shall communicate plans for achieving this goal to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB Director) each fiscal year.
She said exposure in grades K-12 is vital.
-Establish high-quality STEM education, with a particular focus on Computer Science, as one of the Department of Education's priorities.
Sec. 4. General Provisions.