Virginia Leads the Charge in Preparing Students for Lifelong Financial Success - Daniel R. Mortensen, Executive Director, Virginia Council on Economic Education
During the Great Recession, while individuals, businesses, and policymakers nationwide were trying to determine ways to solve current and pressing problems, visionary leaders in Virginia were taking steps to help prevent a recurrence. In 2009, the Virginia Board of Education amended the high school graduation requirements to include a requirement that every student pass a full-credit (full-year) course in economics and personal finance, seeking to better equip graduating students to be successful in the labor market and remain financially solvent. Virginia’s graduating class of 2015 was the first to graduate with all students meeting this new requirement.
Virginia’s Standards of Learning are among the strongest in the nation. They contain elements of economics and personal finance in each grade, K-12, building on previously learned concepts from each level to the next. Since Virginia is one of only a few states with a full-credit requirement in economics and personal finance, Virginia’s students are poised to have a competitive advantage.
Ensuring that Virginia’s teachers have both the content knowledge and engaging, effective lessons to use in teaching their students is critical. In collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education and many in the private sector, the Virginia Council on Economic Education and its affiliated, university-based Centers for Economic Education have conducted economics institutes and personal finance institutes for more than 1,700 high school teachers, well over half of those teaching the course statewide. Our strong public/private partnership will enable ongoing delivery of quality training and resources to meet the continuing needs of teachers and their students.
The full-year high school course in Virginia provides all students with essential life skills that will benefit them, regardless of their future vocation or personal circumstances. Economically and financially literate students will become more productive employees and possibly, entrepreneurs. They will become more savvy consumers and more responsible users of credit. And, they will become more informed citizens and voters. By educating Virginia’s students in economics and personal finance, we are helping to create financially responsible adults and a more qualified workforce, ultimately leading to a stronger economy in Virginia.
Visit our website, http://SurveyoftheStates.com for an interactive experience and download the study. And, find out where you state stands in economics and personal finance education and how you can take action today.