|For immediate release: Sept. 4, 2003|
|Contact:||Pierce Nelson of the Atlanta Fed at 404-498-8748|
|Beth Day of GCEE at 770-952-7264|
ATLANTAThe debate over what Georgia children should learn about economics and finance took center stage today at a conference of key state education and business leaders, including State School Superintendent Kathy Cox, University System of Georgia Chancellor Thomas C. Meredith and Bank of America Georgia President Eugene J. Godbold Jr. The Georgia Summit on Economic and Financial Education was sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Georgia Council on Economic Education.
Georgia is one of 14 states requiring students to pass a high school course in economics, but many participants at the summit said that much more is needed to prepare students for the realities of being workers and consumers in todays complex financial world. While other subjects have curricula that build skills from the earliest grades, the path for economic and financial education is less clear, said William B. Walstad, a national economic education expert. The voices for economic education are far too soft. We need more people saying that economics is just as important as math, science or language arts, he said.
At the summit, participants provided solutions to help close gaps they identified in the states financial and economic education curriculum, teacher training in economics and assessment of school and adult education programs.
The Atlanta Fed and the Georgia Council on Economic Education will develop a report on the conference, said Patrick K. Barron, the Atlanta Feds first vice president and chief operating officer. A work group will then be commissioned to carry forward the reports recommendations.
As part of the nations central banking system, the Atlanta Fed participates in setting national monetary policy, supervises numerous commercial banks and provides a variety of financial services to depository institutions and the U.S. government. The Georgia Council on Economic Education helps teachers teach economics in the public and independent schools of Georgia.