Sep 25, 2017

Trump to announce computer science education initative

President Trump will announce a new initiative this afternoon directing the Dept. of Education to prioritize the exapnsion of STEM and computer science education. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

President Trump will announce a new executive memorandum this afternoon that will direct the Department of Education to expand students' access to STEM and computer science — fields that the administration says are increasingly playing a more vital role in the economy and lead to more lucrative careers.

Why it matters: At a time when partisan politics strikes down the majority of legislation put forth by Washington lawmakers, this initiative is largely one that both parties can get behind. Barack Obama introduced similar legislation at the end of his presidency, though his proposal, which was much pricier than the $200 million baseline incorporated in Trump's version, never made it through Congress. To avoid the same hiccups, the White House has introduced this as a narrower administrative action.

The memorandum directs the Dept. of Ed to:

  • Establish a goal of devoting at least $200 million per year in grant funds towards this priority.
  • Explore administrative actions that will add or increase focus on Computer Science in existing K-12 and post-secondary programs.
  • Ask that these programs and curriculums be designed with gender and racial diversity in mind.
  • Require an annual report to gauge the effectiveness of these programs. The reports will emphasize analysis on both the students' dropout and program completion rates.
  • The grants will target rural communities and inner cities, but the administration hopes the initiative can extend across the U.S.

Private sector involvement:

  • Ivanka Trump, who has played an integral role in the creation of this initiative, will travel to Detroit Tuesday to discuss their pledge to computer science education. She will also visit a public school Wednesday to experience coding with students firsthand.

Reasoning behind this directive:

  • One senior administration official said interest in this program stems from conversations with business leaders from both large and small companies who have said they are struggling to fill open positions due to a shortage of employees with the necessary training in these fields.
  • p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #454545} The gender and minority pay gap: the fact that women and minorities are not equally participating in these lucrative fields is a contributing factor.

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U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 62,300 U.S. health care workers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and at least 291 have died from the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday. COVID-19 had infected about 9,300 health professionals when the CDC gave its last update on April 17.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:00 p.m. ET: 5,589,626 — Total deaths: 350,453 — Total recoveries — 2,286,956Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:00 p.m. ET: 1,680,913 — Total deaths: 98,913 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: Coronavirus antibodies could give "short-term immunity," CDC says, but more data is neededCDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the virus.
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Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

There are no COVID-19 patients in hospital in New Zealand, which reported just 21 active cases after days of zero new infections. A top NZ health official said Tuesday he's "confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission."

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Tuesday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.9 million tests).