Economic Education:
It's Great for Our State!
Economic Education Week Lessons and Activities

In April of 1999, the National Council on Economic Education kicked off a multi-year nationwide campaign to raise the awareness and demand for economic literacy. To highlight the need for more economic education, Merrill Lynch funded a national survey of 1,000 high school seniors, asking them various questions about the American economic system. Results of the poll, released in a national newspaper feature magazine, was used to highlight the need for more economic education across the country. In addition, a "report card" of the 50 states current emphasis on economics is being prepared and released. Nebraska is one of the 13 states that currently do not require or recommend economics or personal finance courses for graduating high school students.

"Nebraska will be a full participant in the campaign for the next few years." Roger Atwood, Nebraska Council President announced. "Timing is great, since Nebraska has recently adopted new social studies standards that have a great deal of economics included at all grade levels. Nebraska teachers will be asked to teach more economics in the future and the Nebraska Council and Centers will be ready to help teachers and school districts with high quality classroom teaching strategies and materials." Two years ago the Nebraska Council began a yearly statewide Economic Education Week in early November. The Council will be continuing and expanding public awareness of this week as well and planning new activities to highlight the importance of economic education statewide.

Centers of economic education across the state will be teaching courses and hosting events to show teachers how to teach more economics to their students. This past year, the Nebraska Council has been distributing a CD featuring a variety of teaching materials for all grade levels. Distribution of this CD, Virtual Economics was funded by a grant from the State Department of Education. The CD is correlated with the new Nebraska Learns social studies standards. "This CD will give teachers a jumpstart on what economics materials are available to support the teaching of economics at all grade levels." said Atwood. Additional public awareness activities will be announced in the near future. Teachers should be seeing more information on the importance of teaching economics in all subject areas. If reading is fundamental, then economics is essential to the success of all students in Nebraska.