Our HistoryOur History

The Foundation concentrates on improving economic understanding among all citizens and as a result has funded projects directed at a variety of audiances.  Major focus has been placed on schools and colleges in the belief that economic understanding should begin relatively early in an individual's development.  Here is a breif overview of how the Foundation has tried to systematically enrourge economic educations in the schools.

Bringing economic understanding to the nation’s students takes more than classroom materials. It takes a concerted and coordinated effort of curriculum change, teacher education, evaluation, and educator recognition. The Foundation undertakes innovative and first-time projects providing the seed support for core programs that further economic literacy. Often partnering with other organizations, the Foundation likes to initiate a program in the hopes that others will follow.

The Kazanjian Foundation National Awards Program began 40 years ago with a grant to the Joint (National) Council on Economic Education.

In keeping with the Kazanjian Foundation’s philosophy, the National Economic Education Awards Program sponsorship was first transferred to the International Paper Company Foundation and later to the NASDAQ Foundation. This freed up the Kazanjian Foundation’s resources for other projects, including the William A. Forbes Award, named for a charter member of the Foundation’s board. The award is given annually to individuals and/or an organization that does the most to promote economic education.

In 1977, with the support of the Kazanjian Foundation, the National Council on Economic Education published a Framework for Teaching Economics. The Framework rapidly became the foundation upon which all new classroom materials and curricula were built.

With the interest in National Standards for various subject matters, the Foundation once again took a leadership role with a gift to The National Council on Economic Education to produce the National Content Standards in Economics. It is also supported by the AT & T Foundation, The Foundation for Teaching Economics, The National Council on Economic Education and others. The new Standards took their place among those of math, science, geography, and other core subjects taught in the schools. TheStandards now shape all quality economic education materials and programs. The National Content Standards in Economics helps assure that economics is not just a curriculum luxury, but also a core subject. It is, as Mr. Kazanjian would have wanted, a subject for all to understand.