Business, Technology and Education Leaders Launch New Coalition to Make Data Science Education a National Priority
WASHINGTON, June 14, 2021 / PRNewswire / – A cross-sector group of individuals and organizations from education, business, philanthropy and technology today announced a new coalition to prioritize data science in K-12 education. Known as Data science for everyone, the coalition is incubated on from the University of Chicago Center for Radical Innovation for Social Change and funded by Citadel Founder and CEO and Philanthropist Ken Griffin and Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt.
Over the next year, Data Science for Everyone will focus on engaging states and districts in meaningful curricula and policy reforms. To that end, the coalition has one Commitment campaign by which corporations, counties, higher education institutions, and policy makers have committed to taking concrete and measurable steps to improve access to data science education for all children.
These obligations as well as opportunities to participate are a public virtual kick-off event on June 28th.
The founding members of the coalition include:
- Ken Griffin, Founder and CEO of Citadel
- Arne Duncan, former US Secretary of Education
- Jo Boaler, Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education
- Kumar Garg, Managing Director and Head of Partnerships, Schmidt Futures
- Steve Levit, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, Author of the bestseller “Freakonomics” and Schmidt Futures Innovation Fellow
“In the 21st century, data science competence is a fundamental component of a well-rounded education. It opens up our ability to see and understand the world. ” said Ken Griffin, The main financier of data science for everyone. “This groundbreaking initiative will equip generations of students with the analytical skills they need to compete in any field they choose.”
“Computers and big data have revolutionized the world, but if you looked into a math class today, you’d have no idea that there was ever change.” said Steve Levit, Author of “Freakonomics” and Schmidt Futures Innovation Fellow. “We just need a curriculum update and we should support our teachers in any way we can to move in that direction. Especially when rebuilding after the pandemic, this disruption is also an opportunity to re-imagine how and what we teach. “
“Data will determine the future of our students, but it is virtually absent from their K-12 school experience right now. It is imperative that students understand how to explore data, ask questions, and tell the stories they will encounter in their lives. ” said Chad Dorsey, President of the Concord consortium and founding member of the coalition. “Building this skill must begin now and should be done for all students in all grades and subjects.”
“Over the past year we’ve seen the importance of understanding data for every American in the world, whether it’s pandemic morbidity rates, statistics based on polls, or the science that supports climate change.” said Kumar Garg, Managing Director and Head of Partnerships at Schmidt Futures. “It is high time we gave our children the ability to use data to understand and solve the problems around them.”
Data Science For Everyone executives have already met with the Department of Education to outline the coalition’s priorities and highlight the critical importance of data science expertise in economic growth and human resource development. This follows a Letter to the President Joe Biden Earlier this year, more than 160 education executives, policy makers, academics and industry partners – including several coalition members – urged its administration to improve data science education in schools across the country.
Although data science is one of the fastest growing professions in the country, with 37 percent growth Few states or school districts annually ensure that students enter high school with a basic mastery of data and only with 11 percent of high school students even attend a statistics course.
Data Science for Everyone is committed to changing that.
To learn more about Data Science for Everyone and to read the letter to the Biden Harris Administration, please visit www.datascience4everyone.org.
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