The Georgia Council on Economic Education is a nonprofit organization that helps elementary and secondary educators teach economics in the public and independent schools of Georgia. The council’s vision is that students will leave school prepared for their economic roles as workers, consumers, and citizens and will become informed decision makers in the global economy.
The council was founded in 1972, largely due to the efforts of Mills B. Lane Jr., the chief executive officer of the Citizens and Southern National Bank in Atlanta. He recruited business leaders from the Coca-Cola Company, Flowers Industries, Piggly-Wiggly Southern, and Trust Company Bank, as well as education leaders, including the superintendent of Atlanta’s city schools, the state superintendent of schools, and the chancellor of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.
The council is affiliated with the National Council on Economic Education and with a nationwide network that includes councils for economic education in most states and centers for economic education at more than 200 universities. The National Council on Economic Education coordinates international activities through the Economics International division, and the Georgia council is actively involved in the International Association for Children’s Civics and Economics Education.
A Center for Economic Education has been created on twelve university campuses in Georgia. These centers serve as local resources for curriculum development and teacher workshops, and they provide access to instructional materials. More than 120 public school systems and independent schools have made formal commitments to strengthen their economics instruction as part of the EconomicsAmerica program and are linked to the Georgia council, the national council, and the regional centers that support their efforts.
Economics is a basic component of Georgia’s existing Quality Core Curriculum and planned new Georgia Performance Standards. Georgia is one of fourteen states with a required high school economics course, and students enrolled in that course began taking “high stakes” end-of-course tests in the fall of 2004.
The council helps educators teach economics by conducting workshops to strengthen their knowledge and skills and by providing them with resource materials appropriate to the grade levels and courses they are teaching. It also coordinates a variety of special programs, including the award-winning Georgia Economic History Project and the Stock Market Game competition.
The council’s board continues to be represented by top leaders from business and education, and the council receives financial support from more than 400 businesses, foundations, and individuals.