Bill would let MI students substitute coding for foreign language

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Legislation that would allow high school students to opt to learn coding instead of a foreign language as a graduation requirement is on its way to the state Senate.

State Rep. Greg VanWoerkom, R-Norton Shores, says he has been working on the idea for a couple of years.

His legislation says completing a computer coding class would be the same as taking a foreign language when it comes to getting a diploma.

Besides being a skill that could be put into real-life applications, VanWoerkom says some kids respond well to the different approach that could change the course of the scholastic experience.

“This is one where some students just do not excel at a foreign language but may excel at this type of language and help that career or spark that interest in a career,” he said. “There have been so many stories of students that have struggled with a foreign language or just in school and then they learn about coding, they join the first robotics team and where they once struggled at school, they’re getting full rides at colleges.”

The bill passed the House Tuesday. It moves to the Senate next for the upper chamber’s consideration.

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