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This morning the Mayor announced a new partnership with Code.org to announce a five-year plan to make computer science part of the Chicago Public School core curriculum instead of just an elective. The new K-12 plan includes creating a pipeline for students to learn how to build computer apps and offers at least one computer science class at every high school.

This week, students across the city are participating in “Hour of Code” events, exploring the basics of coding and programming. With over 20,000 students participating, Chicago has the most students participating in “Hour of Code” worldwide.

Why are we doing this? While STEM jobs are among the highest-paying jobs for new graduates, fewer than 3% of college students across the nation will graduate with a degree in computer science – and of all students taking AP Computer Science, fewer than 20% are women and fewer than 10% are African American or Latino. By 2020, the U.S. can expect almost 760,000 new jobs to be created in computer and information technology.

Our attempt is to lead the way in bridging this gap.

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