Mississippi Council on Economic Education at Millsaps College
The Mississippi Council on Economic Education believes that teachers cannot teach what they do not know; therefore it is their mission to provide professional development to K-12 teachers so they can teach their students to become financially and economically literate.
Through various programs, the MCEE seeks to prepare our young people to become full participants in the 21st Century’s economy with an emphasis on financial readiness through economic, financial and entrepreneurial education, giving them the knowledge they need to make informed choices as employees, consumers and citizens; maintain the institutions of democracy and a market economy; provide Mississippi’s businesses more competitiveness in today’s global economy; and create jobs through small business ownership. Over the past four years, more than 5,600 school teachers at 95% of the state’s schools have participated in at least one workshop in economic, financial and/or entrepreneurial education. These teachers are impacting approximately 560,000 each year. These critical program activities have taken on an even greater importance because of the recent adoption of high school graduation requirements of one semester in economics.
One such program is the Mississippi Stock Market Game, which introduces students to interactive learning about the business world. Studies have shown that students who participate in the Stock Market Game score 8% higher on a test of economic literacy and raise their math scores. For middle school and high school students, the MCEE offers the Mississippi Economics and Personal Finance Challenge. This program is a state quiz-bowl type competition designed to increase their interest and develop their understanding of economics and finance. These competitions are held on line each quarter with the state finals being held once each year.
The MCEE is grounded in the principle that economic education is the foundation that supports economic development. They believe that before US citizens can make the economic system work for them, they must first understand how that system works. A sound understanding of the U.S. market and economics will lead to better and more reasoned choices and decisions. They believe that these kinds of decisions will lead to stronger economic and financial outcomes for both the individual and the local community resulting in a significant improvement in the overall quality of life for the citizens of our state.
The Secretary of State and his wonderful staff have permitted the Mississippi Council on Economic Education to develop a model partnership that works for the benefit of all Mississippians. As the State’s Securities Administrator, the Secretary is able to access Investor Protection Trust Funds allocated for use in Mississippi. Thus far, the Secretary has opened the door for $53,000 in funds to support the professional development of teachers in investor education so that they can deliver programming to their students. The programming permits the teachers to learn the skills they need to teach their students how to budget and invest their finances and how to avoid scams. Thus far, 255 teachers have been served with no financial cost professional development and the best resources available to teach effective investor education to their students. The impact of this partnership is providing a basis on which Mississippi’s economic development will be increased because its citizens have the tools they need to succeed.