By Dr. Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Virginia Department of Education.
It is always satisfying to watch a student’s face light up when he or she grasps a previously baffling concept or idea.
Even more satisfying is the moment when a student not only “gets it,” but also understands why something is worth knowing and how it might make a difference in his or her own life.
Empowering students was the goal of Virginia’s 2013 Governor’s Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance in April. I had the privilege of addressing high school students from across the Commonwealth who had triumphed in the online portion of the competition and were battling it out in the championship rounds at Virginia Commonwealth University. Their energy was contagious, and I was impressed by their command of this critical subject matter.
The Governor’s Challenge, sponsored in partnership with the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE), highlights real-world financial skills and economic concepts that the state Board of Education incorporated into a now-required high school course in economics and personal finance.
By passing the course, students will come to understand their role and opportunities in the global marketplace. They will acquire the foundational knowledge needed to make smart decisions as adults about spending, saving, investing, risk taking and, even, starting a business.
Meet the 2013 Governor’s Challenge state champions – Western Albemarle High School:
Partnerships allow us to draw upon existing strengths between school divisions, government, the private sector, and groups with specific expertise such as the Council for Economic Education and VCEE. Together, we can maximize our investments and equip more students with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to prosper and secure financial independence.