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Chicago requires high school students to take CS classes

Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants all students to learn how to code.

In Chicago, 41 public high schools already have a computer science curriculum, thanks to its science- and tech-loving mayor's project called CS4All. Now, its Board of Education has decided to officially require public school students to take CS classes to graduate. After a unanimous vote by the board, the incoming freshman class of 2016-2017 will have to take at least one CS class equivalent to one credit. It will count towards the students' two-credit career education requirement.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement that exposing the city's students to "STEM and computer science opportunities early on is critical in building a pipeline to both college to career." He added that "requiring computer science as a core requirement will ensure that [Chicago's] graduates [...] can compete for the jobs of the future."

Emanuel is a staunch believer in the importance of teaching kids how to code. He launched CS4All back in 2013 and even urged the president to make high school coding classes a national requirement. Due to his advocacy, 250 teachers in the city are already certified to teach CS courses. Chicago's public school system also has ongoing partnerships with and even tech giants Google and Microsoft to train more teachers and to develop a CS curriculum that can be implemented across schools.

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