Chicago Public Schools Partners With Google Instead of Code.org For CSEdWeek

theodp writes: The Chicago Public Schools kicked off CSEdWeek by issuing a press release announcing a Google partnership: "Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is partnering with Google in an annual call to action during CSEd Week (Dec. 6 -12) to inspire students to learn computer science, advocate for equity in computer science education, and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners such as CafeCS that support this important field of study." A flyer with a joint CPS and Google letterhead invited parents of CPS schoolchildren to attend the first of an unspecified number of Parent Panels exploring career opportunities in computer science. Google in late 2020 lamented that "students are generally unconvinced that computer science is important for them to learn," adding that "Interventions from parents, educators, community leaders, policymakers, nonprofits and the technology industry are needed." Back in Dec. 2017, Google kicked off CSEdWeek by announcing that Google.org was donating $1.5 million to bring CS to students in Chicago and has been a long-time friend of the CPS CS4LL initiative, including making its Chicago HQ available for a CPS 'soiree' just hours before the CPS made CS a HS graduation requirement in 2016 and a 2017 video shoot in which the CPS lamented schools failure to address tech's need for coders. Coincidentally, Google's CSEdWeek partnership with CPS comes as the leaders of the Computer Science Teachers Association (the organizer of CSEdWeek) and Code.org (the organizer of the Hour of Code, CSEdWeek's flagship event) took to Twitter to urge the nonprofits' 1+ million followers to sign a petition asking CPS CEO Pedro Martinez to overturn Code.org's ban from Chicago classrooms for failing to meet what Code.org termed "onerous requirements unrelated to student privacy that make it prohibitive for organizations like Code.org to agree to" (which didn't stop Google from getting its free Google CS First offering on the CPS Approved for Use list). Ironically, back in 2013, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett kicked off CSEdWeek and the first Hour of Code with a press release announcing a CPS partnership with Code.org under which CPS would receive free CS curriculum and ongoing professional development and stipends for teachers. "Partnering with Chicago Public Schools is a giant step forward towards Code.org's vision of bringing computer science to every student in every school," said Code.org founder Hadi Partovi at the time. Google, by the way, is a Platinum Supporter ($3+ million) of tech-backed Code.org.

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