Target: Dr. Carey Wright, Mississippi Superintendent of Education
Goal: Help Mississippi students from all backgrounds achieve success in the fields of technology
Last year, not a single female, Hispanic, or African-American student in the state of Mississippi took the Advanced Placement (AP) test in computer science. Women and students of color have long been underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math fields; the 2013 AP testing statistics would suggest that Mississippi is doing nothing to encourage participation among these minority groups. However, the truth of the matter is even worse–only one student at all in the entire state took the AP computer science test.
This lack of technological literacy is unsurprising, considering that Mississippi has an abysmal record of educational standards. The state was ranked dead last in Education Week‘s 2013 national school performance report. While Mississippi Superintendent of Education Carey Wright has spoken publicly on plans to improve education and test scores in the upcoming year, her plan needs to outline goals for promoting computer literacy. Every student needs to receive an adequate education in technology and computer science so that they may one day participate in the fastest-growing modern job markets. Children who don’t know how to utilize modern technologies will simply be left behind. A lack of comprehensive computer education cripples students’ chances of professional success.
Sign the following petition to tell Superintendent Wright that Mississippi needs computer education now.
Dear Dr. Carey Wright,
As you well know, education is paramount in preparing children to lead successful lives. These children grow up and pursue careers that keep our nation on the forefront of progress. However, when education fails to provide students with the tools of mastering modern technology and computers, students are left unprepared to face the challenges of an increasingly technological world. Last year, only one student in your state took the Advanced Placement test for computer science. The evidence is clear that Mississippi is in urgent need of computer education. You have previously stated your belief in improving the educational opportunities for all students; these opportunities must encompass comprehensive computer literacy.
Computers play a significant role in our daily lives, and their wide application has made comprehensive computer training a must in educational environments. I urge you to set forth a plan for encouraging participation in computer science education. In doing so, please don’t neglect women and students of color, who have been overwhelmingly underrepresented in the field of computer science and are thus barred entry from some of the fastest growing job markets worldwide. Give children the tools for technological success and ensure that all students have a chance at a successful future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Michael Surran via Flickr