The Council for Economic Education (CEE) is the leading organization in the United States that focuses on the economic and financial education of students from kindergarten through high school—and we have been doing so for over 65 years. CEE delivers the fourth “R” – a real-world understanding of how to build fruitful lives – to America’s young people. Our goal is to reach and teach every child to create a more informed citizenry capable of making better decisions as savers, investors, borrowers, voters, and participants in the global economy. We do this by educating the educators: providing the curriculum tools, the pedagogical support, and the community of peers that instruct, inspire, and guide. All resources and programs are developed by educators, and delivered by our national network of affiliates—over 240 across the country. Each year, we train approximately 55,000 teachers in person, and those teachers, in turn, reach approximately 5 million students throughout the country. EconEdLink – our free, online educator gateway for economic and personal finance lessons and resources – attracts more than 1.2 million unique visitors each year.
Learn more about the Council for Economic Education and its 65-year history in this three minute video.
Why CEE is Needed
Our global economy has become so complex that the gap between what people know about economics and personal finance, and what they need to know, is widening every day. Americans are increasingly responsible for their financial future; yet an alarming number lack even basic economic awareness. Only 43% of 12th grade students tested at or above proficient on the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) economics assessment, and American teenagers fall in the middle of the pack globally in financial literacy, performing around the average of the 18 countries that participated in PISA’s financial literacy assessment. Many parents are ill-equipped to instruct their children in economics and personal finance, and teachers, too, are often unprepared to impart this essential knowledge. (For additional metrics on the pervasive problem of economic and financial illiteracy in this country, please see our Industry Data page.)
CEE is uniquely positioned to close this widening gap in knowledge and competence. Our educator training model helps teachers understand the material, tells them how to teach it, and gives them the hands-on learning tools to make it come alive in the classroom. We make it easy to thread economics and finance into courses in math, history, and even children’s literature, and offer resources at every level – from Advanced Placement economics in high school to hands-on economics for the youngest learners. Our curriculum is aligned to meet state content standards in multiple disciplines and the Common Core so that we can meet the needs of educators throughout the country. Our efforts consistently result in positive student learning outcomes and have proven to be quite successful in achieving broad, nationwide reach. (For more on our reach and impact, please refer to our Impact and Metrics pages.)
We know that financial and economic literacy changes the way people see the world and their roles in it. Our students, both college-bound and those who opt for employment rather than college, will be required throughout their lives to make economic decisions important for their own success, and to understand and make decisions about public policy issues. A thorough understanding of economics will contribute not only to their personal success, but to the successes of the businesses, institutions and governments in which they participate. This is why we are passionate about educating young people about an economy they will work in, benefit from, and ultimately, inherit.