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Early childhood education key for business growth, speakers say

The Richmond Times-Dispatch – John Reid Blackwell

“Early childhood education should be seen as an investment that will pay off in long-term business and economic growth, several speakers said Tuesday at a conference in Richmond. About 85 percent of brain development occurs in a child’s first three years, so quality day care and preschool programs can set children on a path toward success in later education and careers, according to the speakers, who included a pediatrician and an entrepreneur. Let’s make sure that early childhood development is a top priority in our companies” for employees’ families, said Shawn Boyer, a Richmond businessman who founded the hourly job search site Snagajob.com.”(more)

Focus more, earn more, remember more: Research reveals perks of second-language learning

The Global News – Laurel Gregory

“The benefits of being bilingual, however, extend across the board. Researchers from the University of Calgary recently published a literature review of dozens of studies on the perks of second-language learning. “Imagine if someone told you that you could take one step that would enable you to travel more freely, get paid more, read some of the world’s best literature, perform better in school, increase your focus, and enhance your understanding of other cultures,” states the Literature Review on the Impact of Second-Language Learning.”(more)

2017’s Most & Least Financially Literate States

Wallet Hub – John S. Kiernan

“The issue of widespread financial illiteracy garnered significant attention in the aftermath of the Great Recession. The housing-market collapse and ensuing financial crisis served as a stark reminder of our societal obsession with debt as well as the dangers of fingertip financial access in the hands of under-informed consumers. But how much have we learned since, and what are we doing to help future generations avoid repeating our mistakes? Not enough, it would seem. We ended 2016 with $89.2 billion in new credit-card debt, the highest increase since 2007. That’s unsurprising, considering that only two in five adults actually have a budget. There’s really no shortage of statistics that one can cite to illustrate our money-management shortcomings.”(more)

With K-12 achievement could come economic growth

The Las Vegas Sun – Alexander Kress

“Policy wonks tend to get caught up in the details of education debates. Do we have the best standards and curriculum? Do we have good teachers? Do we have sufficient funding? Are there the right levels of accountability? These are important questions for which there must be good answers. But what we tend to miss, and miss badly, are the questions that matter most to the public, the taxpayers and the parents. Are we preparing young people well for additional education, job training and good careers? Does the education system contribute to a strong economy? To whatever extent it does, could it do better, and how?.”(more)

‘Early School Leavers’ Face Dismal Social And Economic Prospects

Education Next – Sonari Glinton

“Add to the list of worrisome economic trends what economists call “NEETs” — young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training. Their numbers are growing, now 40 million in the 35 member countries of the OECD — the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. And two-thirds of them are not actively looking for work. The figures come from the biennial OECD report, Society at a Glance 2016.”(more)

Why early STEM education will drive the U.S. economy

CIO – Kenneth Corbin

“The Obama administration is continuing its push to advance math and science education this week, turning attention to early learning with the announcement of a slew of initiatives aimed at promoting the so-called STEM fields of science, technology, mathematics and engineering. The White House and Department of Education are positioning early STEM education as a key to the administration’s goal of elevating the nation’s competitive position, both by measure of student achievement and, in the longer view, by the economic and social benefits that follow from a workforce with a solid foundation in the subjects that are increasingly critical to the 21st century economy.”(more)