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Campaign for Economic Literacy

Challenge and Response

The Council for Economic Education, with its nationwide EconomicsAmerica network of affiliated state Councils and university-based Centers, and with Partners and Associates, proposes an ambitious campaign effort to significantly increase economic literacy -- much like the national campaign already well underway for reading literacy.

The need for such a concerted effort is urgent; the issue is critical. Young people entering the workforce cannot function effectively without knowledge of how the world works. The spiraling rate of personal bankruptcies and credit card debt; the lack of understanding of the importance of saving and investing; the inability to discern the consequences of powerful international economic changes, or even to know the meaning of "profit," are all evidence that we as a nation can no longer afford to make economics an option in our schools. It is especially necessary to give our young people -- who are our future -- a grasp of the basic principles of the American economic system.

To the old and true adage, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance," we would add a stronger emphasis and a greater awareness of the astounding costliness of economic illiteracy. Each year the number of students who graduate from high school without a foundation of economic and financial literacy continues to grow.

The Council for Economic Education has the experience, capacity and capability to effect positive change in response to this challenge. We have been a unique partnership of business, education, and labor since our founding fifty years ago. Now, working with corporation, foundation, and association partners, we intend to make a difference. The Council for Economic Education has developed a strategic plan for accomplishing a compelling vision of increasing and extending economic literacy.


  • Ensure that economic literacy becomes a priority on the national education agenda.
  • Ensure that quality, standards-based economic education is effectively taught in every state, in every school, and at every grade level.
  • Ensure that all of America's kids have the economic skills and understanding they will need as workers, consumers, savers and investors, and citizens.


  • Implement a communications program, to create public awareness of the need and intensify public demand for economic education.
  • Mobilize constituencies to help magnify the significance of economic education in the public and private sectors.
  • Develop the involvement of volunteers, the applications of technology, and the synergy with partners to extend our reach and deepen our impact everywhere in the delivery of effective economic education.
  • Augment state-of-the-art, comprehensive materials for every grade level, kindergarten through twelfth grade, as well as appropriate teaching strategies for each level, to insure that learning is incremental.
  • Generate instruments to measure progress toward specific objectives and outcomes and to test and show results in enhanced economic literacy.


  • A nation of people who have the knowledge, understanding and skills to make informed economic choices.
  • Students who possess economic ways of thinking and problem-solving that they can use in their lives as responsible consumers, producers, savers and investors, and effective participants in a global economy.
  • Employees who understand economic concepts and economic ways of thinking and are better able to make informed decisions in their personal finance, in the workplace and as citizens.  


The Council for Economic Education has:

  • fifty years of experience in training teachers to teach economics to K-12 students
  • a proven national delivery network which has the support of the teaching community
  • a university-based training program that can support changing teaching requirements for educators
  • set the standards for the nation's schools in economics
  • successful partnerships with corporations, foundations and associations
  • unique publications and innovative Internet-based programs to support economic education
  • an impressive record of effectiveness in delivering economic education nationwide, with integrity, quality, and excellence.


The Campaign for Economic Literacy is the opportunity to shine the light on the critical need for economic education -- which we have been addressing for 50 years -- as well as what we do nationally and state-by-state to meet that need. The Campaign is our focused action plan to mobilize the EconomicsAmerica network, partners and associates, form other strategic alliances, magnify our efforts together, and marshal the resources necessary to make economics integral to the national education agenda.




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