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High School Teams Earn National Honors in Top Personal Finance and Economics Competitions

Students From Florida, California and Texas Win First Place in the Council for Economic Education’s National Personal Finance Challenge and National Economics Challenge

Nan J. Morrison, president and chief executive officer of CEE, announcing winners at the 2022 National Personal Finance Challenge in New York City.

Demonstrating winning knowledge of personal finance and economics that sets young people on paths to lifelong success, students from Land O’ Lakes High School in Florida, The Harker School in San Jose and St. John’s School in Houston scored top nationwide rankings in the National Personal Finance Challenge (NPFC) and two divisions of the National Economics Challenge (NEC) organized by the Council for Economic Education (CEE).

“You don’t learn about managing your money just by wishing, or about making complex economic choices just by following the news. It’s tough to thrive if you don’t understand,” said Nan J. Morrison, president and chief executive officer of CEE. “The students on these teams demonstrated an extraordinary level of knowledge in part because their schools offer classes in these life-essential topics.”

Only 25 states require students to take a course in economics to graduate, while 24 require a class in personal finance, according to CEE and its 2022 Survey of the States.

To reach the final competition in New York City, school teams had to first win their state titles and then rise to the top in a semifinal round last month.

“We strongly believe that financial education helps young people in all income levels become smarter consumers, lead more productive lives and build stronger communities,” said Heather Lavallee, CEO of Wealth Solutions, Voya Financial, which sponsors the NPFC. “We congratulate the winners and everyone who’s taken or teaches these important classes.”

Every student on each finalist team receives a cash prize.

Winning teams in the NPFC national finals:

2022 National Personal Finance Challenge Winners from Land O’ Lakes High School in Land O’ Lakes, Florida.
  • Land O’ Lakes High School of Land O’ Lakes, Florida – first place
  • Applications and Research Laboratory school of Ellicott City, Maryland – first runner-up
  • Ardrey Kell High School of Charlotte, North Carolina – second runner-up
  • Germantown High School from Madison, Mississippi – third runner-up

Championships in the NEC are staged in two groups based on experience levels.

In the NEC’s David Ricardo Division for first-time competitors:

2022 National Economics Challenge David Ricardo Division Winners from St. John’s School of Houston, Texas.
  • St. John’s School of Houston, Texas- first place
  • Phillips Exeter Academy from Exeter, New Hampshire – first runner-up
  • Mt. Hebron High School of Ellicott City, Maryland – second runner-up
  • Dana Hall School of Wellesley, Massachusetts – third runner-up

In the NEC Adam Smith Division for advanced and returning competitors:

2022 National Economics Challenge Adam Smith Division Winners from The Harker School of San Jose, California.
  • The Harker School of San Jose, California – first place
  • Mt. Hebron High School of Ellicott City, Maryland – first runner-up
  • ‘Iolani School of Honolulu, Hawaii – second runner-up
  • Troy High School of Troy, Michigan – third runner-up

In subsequent international rounds, St. John’s outscored China’s David Ricardo championship team from Shandong and Harker defeated China’s Adam Smith team from Shanghai.

About the Council for Economic Education:

CEE’s mission is to teach K-12 students about economics and personal finance so they can make better decisions for themselves, their families and their communities. We carry out our mission by providing resources and training to K-12 educators and have done so for over 70 years. Nearly two-thirds of the tens of thousands of teachers we reach virtually and in-person are in low to moderate-income schools. All resources and programs are developed by educators and delivered by our 200 affiliates across the country in every state. Through our student-facing programs, including the National Personal Finance Challenge and the National Economics Challenge and Invest in Girls, CEE continues to inform, motivate and inspire young minds across the country. We also advocate for more and better education in personal finance and economics, primarily through CEE’s biennial Survey of the States. Find out more at councilforeconed.org and on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

About Voya Financial®

Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), is a leading health, wealth and investment company that provides products, solutions and technologies that help Americans become well planned, well invested and well protected. Serving the needs of 14.3 million individual, workplace and institutional clients, Voya has approximately 6,000 employees and had $707 billion in total assets under management and administration as of March 31, 2022. Certified as a “Great Place to Work” by the Great Place to Work® Institute, Voya is purpose-driven and is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible. Voya has earned recognition as: one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute; a member of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index; and a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” on the Disability Equality Index. For more information, visit voya.com. Follow Voya Financial on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter @Voya.

Contacts

For more information:
Steve Hirsh steve@successioncommunications.com 202-441-1516
Lisa Fels Davitt lisa@successioncommunications.com 973-886-1917

POSTED: June 8, 2022 | BY: CEE Staff

2022 Visionary Awards Benefit Dinner

We had a wonderful time at the 2022 Visionary Awards Benefit Dinner. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to each attendee, educator, honoree, sponsor, and staff member who helped make the event such a success. Guests dusted off their party shoes, changed out of their Zoom clothes, and enthusiastically greeted one another at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. For many people, it was their first large in-person event since the start of the pandemic, and what better place to start than with a benefit to honor leaders who promote economic and financial literacy? 

Visionary Award honorees Barbara G. Novick, Claudia Goldin and Thasunda Brown Duckett during the Fireside Chat.
Visionary Award honoree Barbara G. Novick, emcee Steve Liesman and Visionary Award honoree Thasunda Brown Duckett.
CEE President and CEO Nan J. Morrison and CEE Chairperson Rebecca Patterson.

This year, we honored Thasunda Brown Duckett, President and CEO, TIAA; Claudia Goldin, Henry Lee Professor of Economics, Harvard University; and Barbara G. Novick, Co-Founder & Former Vice Chairman, BlackRock. The honorees engaged in a thought-provoking fire-side chat, where they discussed current issues including inflation, unemployment, and women in the workforce. 

Chair Emeritus Barry G. Haimes, Livingston Public School student Brett Conklin, teaching award winner Alex Lamon and emcee Steve Liesman.
Chair Emeritus Barry G. Haimes, Bronx High School of Business student Marco Flores, teaching award winner Jessica Bailey and emcee Steve Liesman.

We also presented the Barry G. Haimes Award for Excellence in Teaching, named after our distinguished Board Chair Emeritus, to Jessica Bailey, School Improvement Coach at the New York City Department of Education, and Alex Lamon of the Livingston Public Schools in New Jersey. 

The benefit raised $600,000, which will help keep CEE’s momentum going and raise awareness of the importance of economic and personal finance education. Should you wish to make a donation, your contribution will directly support K-12 students and teachers. 

Special thank you to all our sponsors for their support. We are grateful. 

POSTED: April 7, 2022 | BY: CEE Staff

Council for Economic Education’s Biennial Survey of the States Finds Encouraging Progress in Personal Finance Education but Troubling Stagnation in Teaching Essential Economics in America’s High Schools

New FinEd50 Initiative from Visa & CEE Aims to Accelerate Financial Education Requirements for All Students

Despite advances in ensuring access to personal finance classes in K-12 schools, there’s troubling stagnation in equally important economics education, according to the 2022 Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schools by the Council for Economic Education (CEE).

“America is failing our children when we don’t provide them with opportunities to study critical economic and personal finance concepts before they leave high school for college, for jobs and for their futures,” said Nan J. Morrison, CEE president and chief executive officer. “While we’re encouraged by some progress in our latest Survey, all young people across the country need more and deserve better.”

Only 25 states require students to take a course in economics to graduate high school, the 2022 Survey found — a standstill from 2020’s Survey and an increase of only three states in the last decade. And several states, including Georgia and South Carolina, are considering removing economics from graduation requirements.

Parallel requirements for personal finance are on an encouraging upward path, the Survey found. States mandating that for graduation grew to 23, up by two – Nebraska and New Mexico – since 2020. Ohio and Mississippi updated their requirements to a standalone personal finance course. And the Florida legislature just this month unanimously sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis a bill that would make it the most populous state to require personal finance for graduation.

As noted in the Survey, “Absent exposure to both subjects, America’s young people are denied full access to the knowledge they need to successfully navigate their lives as both individuals and as members of larger and increasingly complex communities and societies.”

Adds Morrison, “Short-changing universal access hits particularly hard on historically underserved students and students of color. When requirements and funding vary among districts, the disparate quality and effectiveness of financial education create and extend inequities. Intentional statewide approaches help move the equity needle for all.”

With data showing millions of students left in the dark on money matters, Visa (NYSE: V), which helped fund this year’s Survey, and CEE are launching FinEd50, a coalition of private, public and nonprofit leaders that will promote guaranteed access everywhere to these essential courses. FinEd50 members also will provide additional training and curriculum support to teachers and school districts.

“The state of financial education offered to students in the U.S. varies significantly. Where students live should not impact whether they have access to knowledge that will help them learn how to make informed financial decisions in their lives,” said Worku Gachou, head of North America, inclusive impact & sustainability, at Visa. “Visa is proud to be a cofounding partner of FinEd50 and we welcome all who are passionate about ensuring young people have access to financial education to join us.”

Since 1998, CEE has collected and analyzed data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making the biennial Survey of the States an important benchmark for tracking progress on economic and personal financial education.

The full 2022 Survey report with detailed tables and methodology is available at SurveyOfTheStates.com. Additional information on the coalition is at FinEd50.com. And join the conversation at #SURVEYOFTHESTATES.


About the Council for Economic Education:

CEE’s mission is to teach K-12 students about economics and personal finance so they can make better decisions for themselves, their families and their communities. We carry out our mission by providing resources and training to K-12 educators and have done so for over 70 years. Nearly two-thirds of the tens of thousands of teachers we reach virtually and in-person are in low to moderate income schools. All resources and programs are developed by educators and delivered by our 200 affiliates across the country in every state. Through our student-facing programs, including Invest in Girls, the National Personal Finance Challenge and the National Economics Challenge, CEE continues to inform, motivate and inspire young minds across the country. Find out more at councilforeconed.org and on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Media contacts:

For more information, team photos or to arrange interviews with team members and teacher/coaches:

Kate Alexander: kate@successioncommunications.com | 201-638-3946
Steve Hirsh: steve@successioncommunications.com | 202-441-1516

POSTED: March 17, 2022 | BY: CEE Staff

High School Team From Nebraska Wins Top Honors in National Personal Finance Challenge

Council for Economic Education Competition Showcases Mastery of Essential Life Skills

NEW YORK (June 4, 2021): Students from Millard North High School in Omaha, Neb., earned the top title in this year’s National Personal Finance Challenge (NPFC) for showcasing their understanding of an essential life skill: how to manage money, whether you have a lot of it or not much at all.

Nearly 10,000 students from more than 350 schools competed across the United States in the NPFC this spring. Students from the Applications & Research Laboratory school in Ellicott City, Md., ranked as first runner-up, with teams from Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, Calif., and Germantown High School of Madison, Miss., rounding out the top four finalists from the 24 semifinals teams. 

The competition showcases students’ ability to use their knowledge to assess a family’s financial situation and present a thoughtful plan including earning, spending, saving, using credit and investing.

Organized by the Council for Economic Education (CEE) with help from the Nebraska Council on Economic Education, it was held entirely online due to COVID-19. The NPFC is sponsored by Voya Financial. 

“Congratulations to the students and teachers from Millard North, Applications & Research, Bellarmine and Germantown and to every student who studied personal finance during this COVID-affected school year,” said Nan J. Morrison, CEE president and chief executive officer. “We see in all the teams who competed that managing your money smartly is not something young people just know – it’s something they need to learn.” 

In 21 states, students are required to take a course in personal finance, according to CEE’s biennial Survey of the States. In other states, personal finance skills that many used to take for granted – creating budgets, understanding interest, credit and goal-setting – may not even be on the agenda.

“Our research indicates that in states with personal finance requirements, students exhibit more informed behavior around college financing, and that’s particularly true for those from economically challenged families,” Morrison said. “In states without requirements, there is a 16-point gap in access to financial education between kids from lower-income versus wealthier families.”

“These high school students are facing financial independence in just a few short years,” said Heather Lavallee, CEO of Wealth Solutions, Voya Financial. “The National Personal Finance Challenge is equipping stellar teams from around the country with smart decision-making skills to navigate that milestone and forge a path to financial security.”


About the Council for Economic Education:

The Council for Economic Education’s mission is to teach K-12 students about economics and personal finance so that they can make better decisions for themselves, their families and their communities. We carry out our mission by providing resources and training to K-12 educators and have done so for 70 years. Nearly 2/3 of the teachers we reach in person are in low- and moderate-income schools. 

Media contacts:

For more information, team photos or to arrange interviews with team members and teacher/coaches:

Lisa Fels Davitt, lisa@successioncommunications.com, (973) 886-1917

Steve Hirsh, steve@successioncommunications.com, (202) 441-1516

POSTED: June 8, 2021 | BY: CEE Staff

Mount Hebron High School in Ellicott City, Md. Clinches the 21st Annual National Economics Challenge from the Council for Economic Education

Challenge Participation Climbs, Spotlighting the Value of Economic Education

New York, N.Y. (May 25, 2021) – For the third consecutive year, Mount Hebron High School from Ellicott City, Md., outscored student teams from around the United States to win both divisions of the 21st Annual National Economics Challenge (NEC) sponsored by the Council for Economic Education (CEE).

The school emerged atop the 375 schools that participated. In all, more than 10,000 students competed nationwide in the NEC, the country’s only economics competition for high school students. The Challenge was held entirely online due to COVID-19.

“It’s encouraging to see the benefits of economic education shining so brightly in all of our participants, with educators, parents and students truly valuing economic thinking,” said Nan J. Morrison, CEE’s president and CEO. “The caliber of students never ceases to amaze me, and the Mount Hebron High School team from Ellicott City, Md., is once again a further testament to this. We applaud them and all who participated in the challenge and in high school economics courses.”

CEE’s NEC builds critical thinkers and tomorrow’s leaders, Morrison added. The competition recognizes exceptional high school students for their knowledge of economic principles and their ability to apply problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to real-world events.

Students advance from NEC state level competitions to a final quiz bowl and critical thinking presentation on an economic issue and problem by competing in one of two divisions depending on their level of experience. The Adam Smith division is for advanced placement, baccalaureate and honors students as well as any returning competitors. The David Ricardo division is for students participating in the NEC for the first time and who have taken no more than one economics course. The winning Mount Hebron school fielded teams in both.

The Challenge also included an international round featuring a quiz bowl between the top U.S teams and China’s winners from CEE’s NEC: International managed by its exclusive partner in China, SKT Education. Four thousand Chinese students participated in the Challenge in China, with 192 advancing to the worldwide finals. Mount Hebron High School also won the international quiz bowl in both the David Ricardo and Adam Smith divisions competing against Xi’an Gaoxin No.1 High School-International Course Center and Shanghai Starriver Bilingual School.

Steve Liesman, senior economics reporter for CNBC, emceed the U.S. competition, and Karen Finerman, chief executive officer of Metropolitan Capital Advisors and panelist on CNBC’s Fast Money, hosted the China competition.

More details on the National Economics Challenge can be found on CEE’s Twitter page and by searching the hashtag #EconChallenge or visiting www.NationalEconomicsChallenge.org.

Note to editors: A list of all U.S. teams that participated in the Challenge finals is available below.

About the Council for Economic Education and the National Economics Challenge:

The Council for Economic Education’s mission is to teach K-12 students about economics and personal finance so that they can make better decisions for themselves, their families and their communities. We carry out our mission by providing resources and training to K-12 educators and have done so for 70 years. Nearly 2/3 of the teachers we reach in person are in low- and moderate-income schools.

Media contacts:

Kate Alexander kate@successioncommunications.com, (201) 638-3946

Lisa Fels Davitt lisa@successioncommunications.com, (973) 886-1917

State champion teams in the 21st Annual National Economics Challenge finals May 22-24, 2021.

ADAM SMITH DIVISION:

· BASIS Scottsdale (Scottsdale, Ariz.)

· Chattahoochee High School (Johns Creek, Ga.)

· Conestoga High School (Berwyn, Pa.)

· Dublin High School (Dublin, Calif.)

· ‘Iolani School (Honolulu, Hawaii)

· Mount Hebron High School (Ellicott City, Md.)

DAVID RICARDO DIVISION:

· Half Hollow Hills High School East (Dix Hills, N.Y.)

· Irvington High School (Fremont, Calif.)

· Lexington High School (Lexington, Mass.)

· Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School (Richmond, Va.)

· Mount Hebron High School (Ellicott City, Md.)

· Plano West Senior High School (Plano, Texas)

POSTED: May 25, 2021 | BY: CEE Staff