The state Education Department
is embellishing' Gov. Asa Hutchinson's computer education push
with cash incentives
for high scores on an Advanced Placement tes
t in computer science.
A student who has completed the AP Computer Science A course (not currently available in all schools, unfortunately) and takes the Advanced Placement test between last Aug. 1 and May 30 has these potential incentives:
* $1,000 for a student and $250 for the school for a score of 5, the highest possible.
* $750 and $150 for a 4
* $250 and $50 for a 3, the base score for which some colleges will consider attainment sufficient to grant college credit.
The future is digital, no doubt. But the liberal arts major in me can't help but wonder about the emphasis on computers, almost to the exclusion of other courses. I still think a broad-based education is its own reward and foundation for the future. There are many AP courses in addition to computer science where a 5 might have some "productive" value — think Chinese. The list also includes things like 3-D design, biology, chemistry, mechanics, electricity and, perish the thought these days, environmental science.
I"m also forever reminded of a college fraternity brother who earned a Ph.D. in philosophy en route to becoming a zillionaire mutual fund manager.