New York City will be opening its first ever Software Engineering high school this September. Anyone would be able to apply to the school and while in the school, emphasis will not be given on traditional performance metrics like grades and attendance.
"There are middle schoolers with so-so grades who will make great software engineers. There are also immigrant children who will be great software engineers but have not overcome the language barrier yet."
I think introducing programming courses early in the academic careers of students serve several interesting purposes. By introducing programming choices early on, students can learn about their interests and pursue advanced fields later in college. Second, it ensures students get basic programming skills like other skills, e.g. math. Third, It opens up new opportunities for educators to build interactive, fun programming resources such as Codeacademy.
Read more about this topic in Demetri Lales' blog post.