clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Apple’s technology is a ‘means, not an end’ to help public education in his city

Tech can help equalize opportunities in education, the mayor says.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel MSNBC
Shirin Ghaffary is a senior Vox correspondent covering the social media industry. Previously, Ghaffary worked at BuzzFeed News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and TechCrunch.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel explained how he sees Apple helping Chicago public school students learn how to code after the company’s education-themed keynote on Tuesday.

Emanuel spoke with Recode’s Kara Swisher after Apple’s event at Lane Tech College Prep High School, where Apple announced its new partnership with Chicago Public Schools and Northwestern University to train local computer science teachers in coding.

“Apple is an important part of making computer coding universal and making sure kids have that,” said Emanuel. “There’s 6,000 school districts across the United States. Every one of them would be excited to have Apple.”

Apple is creating a Center for Excellence at Lane Tech where Northwestern University trainers will provide free technical education to local high school teachers through Apple’s Everyone Can Code program as well as training on Apple’s programming language, Swift. The company says the program is an effort to address the shortage of high school computer science teachers.

Chicago Public Schools made coding a requirement for high school graduation back in 2015 — the first urban school district to do so — and has educational partnerships with other tech companies such as Cisco and IBM, the Mayor said.

Still, Emanuel emphasized that technology should never supplant the fundamentals of education.

“Technology doesn’t replace literature, it should complement it,” said Emanuel. “Sometimes there is an overemphasis on technology as if the other stuff is not necessary,” he said.

In his interview with Recode, Emanuel also discussed his passionate support for Dreamers and the importance of privacy online. You can watch the full video below:

To learn more about Apple’s plans around education and job training, watch Tim Cook’s interview on “Revolution: Apple Changing the World,” a TV collaboration between Recode and MSNBC that is scheduled to air on Friday, April 6 at 8 pm ET.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.