Should computer programming be on par with reading and writing?

Here’s a somewhat controversial article from ReadWriteWeb: a proposal to make computer literacy as important as basic literacy. From the article:

Everyone ought to be able to read and write; few people within the global mainstream would argue with that statement. But should everyone be able to program computers? The question is becoming critically important as digital technology plays an ever more central role in daily life. The movement to make code literacy a basic tenet of education is gaining momentum, and its success or failure will have a huge impact on our society.

via Computer Programming for All: A New Standard of Literacy.

My take on this: yes, but…it can’t (and probably shouldn’t) be done with programming languages as they exist today. The state of the art presents too many non-programming-related cruft in front of the user, whereas the actual meat — the algorithms, the analysis — gets lost and diluted.