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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”(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)

The Economic Importance of Teaching Coding to Teens

The Atlantic – Sonali Kohli

Information technology was one of the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields with the most job postings in the U.S. in 2013, and job postings requiring coding skills stayed open longer than most. A national non-STEM job opening is filled in about 33 days, compared to 56 days for jobs that require programming skills and 65 days for mobile developing, according to Matt Sigelman, CEO of the career analytics firm Burning Glass.”(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)

While liberal arts decline in U.S., China and other economic rivals add them

The Hechinger Report – Ben Wildavsky

“Businessman Po Chung might seem an unlikely advocate for the virtues of a U.S.-style liberal education. Cofounder of the Asia Pacific branch of shipping giant DHL, Chung is a rags-to-riches entrepreneur whose success is emblematic of the former colony’s hard-driving capitalist culture. But he’s also one of the leading advocates for adding a big dose of humanities and social sciences to the curriculum of Hong Kong’s universities. Chung and other backers of an unprecedented three-year-old reform effort are determined to move the city’s eight universities away from the rote learning, test obsession and narrow career focus that still characterize much of the Asian education system. They think it’s past time for colleges to introduce a broader range of subjects, to promote greater intellectual curiosity, and to foster creative thinking. And they’re convinced that these changes will, in turn, build a workforce of rigorous, creative thinkers — just what they think is needed to meet the fast-changing needs of a transforming economy.”(more)