I'm thinking back to the days long ago when people considered high school and a high school education a suitable training ground for developing skills for the workplace. College might be an option for some, sure, but that could be later, after a job or three, as one might need to save up some money. College ain't free unless you live in a socialist country, right?
Those days are pretty much gone now, and yet we have the same Chamber of Commerce type business community hungry for people who don't expect big salaries yet reliably punch in and do whatever tasks. They're flooded with resumes from college grads nowadays, but even so, are the skills they're looking for really there?
What I'm noticing is the emergence of a new educational institution that is positioning itself as a "between jobs" training facility that provides training and job-readiness to high school grads who may not have a lot of college, maybe a course here and there.
These are the "code schools" and they're a lot like community college, including in providing on-line courses. They also provide "boot camps", more intensive in-person meetups wherein students work together for hours a day, on top of homework.
My question (lets finally get to a question): will the high schools themselves be absorbing more of this code school curriculum? If so, will this be a process of augmentation (e.g. more after school programs) i.e. supplementation, or will some of the core disciplines (in particular mathematics) change their shape to some degree?
I think the pat answer to my question is: maths will not change. We have a fixed K-12 road map, with Algebra forking into pre-calc/calc, with either AP or IB as attractive options for those considered either gifted or college-bound. Anything to do with "coding" is called "computer science" (CS) and the most CS courses might expect is to count towards the required number of math credits for a high school diploma. I believe the NCTM has given a tentative green light to this compromise.
A different solution practically no one talks about is to resurrect "philosophy" as a subject appropriate to K-12ers in some form. Back in trivium-quadrivium days, Philosophy was high ranking, looked up to much like STEM is today.
Philosophy has a tradition of incorporating symbolic logic and concerning itself with the foundations of mathematics. It also has a reputation for maybe considering the more impractical and/or entertaining conjectures "outside the box" by the standards of any particular orthodoxy. We learn to think critically, not as a side effect of learning something else, but as a directly-talked-about activity.
Speech and debate skills are encouraged. We bring in rhetoric and the oratory skills needed to win an argument.
In today's high schools, what comes closest to philosophy might indeed be the speech and debate club, extracurricular, and considered an athletic activity, another sport. Teams practice and participate in intramural competitions. Trophies are awarded, scores kept, with the highest scoring teams going to more regional and even national events, much like in one of the many "ball sports" (soccer, football, basketball, baseball, volleyball).
We may also see coding tournaments in some regions, because programming is also treated as a competitive sport in some districts. I mention this suggestively.
What I've called Martian Math over the years, here on math-teach, is somewhat closer to philo- sophy than usual in that we look at distopian versus more utopian visions of the future and contemplate what "steering" mechanisms take us towards one vision over another.
The Martians (ETs of any description) come in as a wild card, which a teacher is free to make use of or dispense with. In the pilots I've done around Portland, we talk about 'War of the Worlds' as an example of distopian science fiction, and go over the sociological phenomenon of mass panic (in some circles) when Orson Welles used a "radio voice" (associated with authority) to read from it over the air.
What killed those invading Martians in the end was not human prowess with weaponry (we were clearly outmatched) but the biological defenses of the planet itself: the aliens succumbed to diseases, to viruses, for which they had no antibodies.
The virus itself is then our doorway into a biological world replete with Platonic forms, i.e. polyhedrons, the viral sheath having many of the characteristics of an icosahedron in some cases. That's our bridge into spatial geometry, and the story continues, with the Martians, now friendly, cooperative, having a novel way of thinking about volume. Earthlings and Martians build a dam together. That becomes another story, more utopian, and involving detailed computations, logic, foundations of mathematics.
If you're in high school and think Martian Math might be of interest, as a philosophy course, here's an entry point to some Youtubes on the subject, as well as a link to the Reed College pilot, wherein I worked with Saturday Academy on a flagship implementation of said course:
Also, in the footnotes, a link to more writings on the emerging code school phenomenon.