October 15, 2020
Board of Trustees
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I am happy to submit my independent evaluation of the FTE’s 2020 programs, based on feedback from hundreds of students and teachers. 2020 proved to be a year unlike any other. Just as FTE would normally be gearing up for summer programs, the country went into lockdown. FTE has unequivocally demonstrated nimbleness and adaptability by delivering remarkable online programming. From creatively developing new webinars and workshop simulations to adapting traditional FTE programs to online platforms, FTE has successfully delivered quality and timely content for educators and students.
Empirical surveys along with written feedback from participants and 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 which stimulate the economic way of thinking, essential now more than ever.
In summary, both students and teachers across all programs consistently and overwhelmingly praised:
- FTE instructors for their engagement with students, in particular their ability to bridge the online platform and connect personally with program participants;
- FTE content for its timeliness, clarity and urgency in the classroom;
- FTE programs for enhancing their understanding of the economic way of thinking
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 13 percent (85% overall score), a 4 percent increase over last year. 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 27%! 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. FTE is providing much needed training and exposition on the economic topics and education methodology so needed in high schools today.
Anne Rathbone Bradley, Ph.D.