Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ben Bernanke: The Economics of Early Childhood

by Sara Slaughter, Education Program Director

As Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke knows he must choose his words carefully because his assessments of the economy, taxes and spending can move Wall Street and influence Capitol Hill. But what happens when he personalizes those numbers and discusses the economy in the context of our children and our education system? On July 24, he was invited to Ohio to address a different type of audience -- the Children’s Defense Fund Annual Conference. He again chose his words carefully, speaking about the crucial role of education in our "ever changing, globalized economy." He cited research demonstrating the need to start early in educating our children and preparing them – and our economy – for success. Undoubtedly, he speaks from personal and professional convictions: the son of a school teacher, he was a professor at Princeton University before becoming Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

The question is this: can the man whose words reverberate across Wall Street and Capitol Hill influence our opinions on education and its relationship to economic success?

WATCH Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke champion early childhood education at the Children's Defense Fund National Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio (July 24, 2012).

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