October 11, 2021
Board of Trustees
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I am pleased to submit my independent evaluation of the educational programs conducted by the Foundation for Teaching Economics from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021. Based on feedback from hundreds of students and teachers, this academic year proved to be one of continued adaption, due to the ongoing circumstances related to COVID-19. Nonetheless, FTE remained not only nimble and creative in its educational programming, namely by creating new online programs, but also proved able to successfully return some of its educational programming in person. Therefore, I am very pleased to report that FTE has been overwhelmingly successful in its continued mission of teaching the economic way of thinking.
An analysis of empirical surveys, along with written feedback from participants, as well as pre and post testing, continue to demonstrate that FTE programs are essential for helping equip both students and teachers with relevant and powerful pedagogical tools and instruction methods, conducive to excellence in economic education and making teachers more effective economic educators. In summary, both students and teachers across all programs consistently and overwhelmingly praised:
- FTE instructors for their engagement with students;
- FTE content for its timeliness, clarity of exposition, and responsiveness to questions in the classroom;
- FTE programs for enhancing their understanding of the economic way of thinking;
The overall result of this impact, both among students and teachers across all programs, is most reflected by the overwhelming enthusiasm that participants expressed in recommending FTE courses and programming to other individuals.
Pre- and post-tests of the high school students attending Economics for Leaders programs revealed positive changes in their understanding of economic concepts. Students increased the pre to post test score by 10 percent (85% overall score), and evidence showed that some particular FTE programs increased the understanding of economic concepts for students by over 20 percent. Moreover, students attending the Economic Forces in American History programs reported an overall percentage increase in economic literacy by 45 percent. Students praised the instructors for their ability to make challenging content understandable and praised their instruction methods and techniques.
Results from participants’ feedback and comprehension tests clearly show the positive impact of FTE programs on participants’ learning and their ability to bring the economic way of thinking into the classroom. The pandemic did not stop successful and interactive FTE programs. The evidence shows that in some cases FTE programs increased the understanding of economic concepts for students by over 51 percent! Students praised the online teaching across many programs which speaks to the clarity, thoughtfulness, and enthusiasm of FTE teachers.
Based on my review of the data, FTE has accomplished what many organizations have been unable to deliver in the face of economic lockdowns and physical distancing requirements. Given my own role as an economics educator, I must say that FTE is providing much needed training and exposition on the economic topics and education methodology required in high schools, the impact of which will create economic literacy and responsible decision-making for future leaders.
Rosolino Candela, Ph.D.