Strongly agree with letter to the editor in the WSJ today:
For years it has been mandatory in secondary-school education to study a foreign language, and for most students it is an inconvenience soon forgotten. Instead, it should be mandatory to begin learning a much more useful language: computer programming. Ninth-graders, for the most part, are capable of learning a general-purpose programming language, and some students would continue more advanced programming for three or four years. We could have an army of young people capable of writing software, enabling them to easily join a work force that is woefully short of programmers.
I made similar points in a letter to Minnpost - How to Not Squander a Sputnik Moment. I don't necessarily think that programming as we think of it today - web, pc - is a career path for high school kids, but I do think the logic, models and math required for programming will serve well for emerging technologies like robotics, biotech and other pursuits.