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A Bridge To Somewhere: Education Panel Focuses On 'Democratizing Digital Learning'

Education experts convened today at The New York Times Schools for Tomorrow Conference to discuss the current crisis in education: the gap between information and knowledge. A panel of industry experts led by John Merrow, PBS NewsHour education correspondent, urged public and private sectors to come together to solve the economic and social problems that this learning gap is causing in America.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell; Aditya Bhasin, Bank of America; Joanne Weiss, former Chief of Staff to the U.S. Secretary of Education; Ted Mitchell, NewSchools Venture Fund; and Jennifer Tescher, The Center for Financial Services Innovation, participated in the discussion. Three themes emerged, which panelists urged stakeholders to prioritize:
  • Unlike the past, the expectation is that all people will live their lives digitally. Adapting to this reality is not an option.
  • Technology is changing the learning landscape and can be the great equalizer in ensuring every child has the chance at a quality education.
  • Schools need to embed real world tools into core curricula. Financial education is a powerful and important example.

Bank of America also announced findings from its “Bridging the Knowledge Gap” Survey 1, conducted by Harris Interactive, which explored the gap between learning and knowledge in financial education. Key findings included:
  • Americans overwhelmingly expressed support for personal finance to be included in the curriculum in high schools – with virtually all U.S. adults (99 percent) saying they believe it is important for high schools to teach students about personal finance.
  • Unfortunately, roadblocks prevent a good understanding of personal finance: nearly four in five U.S. adults (78 percent) believe it is difficult to learn about personal finance, and 43 percent believe they have missed good financial opportunities due to a lack of financial knowledge.
  • Approximately one in three U.S. adults (32 percent) believes they have made poor financial decisions as a result of their lack of knowledge.

At The New York Times Schools for Tomorrow Conference, Governor Markell stated, “When it comes to financial education, kids are not learning about it in school or at home in many cases. We have created financial education opportunities, such as Delaware Monday Classes in the classroom as well as home-based and employer-based initiatives, to help address this issue in Delaware.”

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