Whiz kid investors in Clayton fifth grade remind us that urban schools can excel

Coach Mike Harrell and (from left) fifth-graders Kenny Chong, Jacob Thomas and Jaylen Thompkins have won the state title for the Georgia Stock Market Game. (Bita Honarvar, bhonarvar@ajc.com)

Coach Mike Harrell and (from left) fifth-graders Kenny Chong, Jacob Thomas and Jaylen Thompkins have won the state title for the Georgia Stock Market Game. (Bita Honarvar, bhonarvar@ajc.com)

There are two Clayton County stories in the AJC today;  one is about a food fight at Lovejoy High School that resulted in 10 arrests. The other — and the one that deserves our attention — is a feature story on the financial whiz kids at E.W. Oliver Elementary School in Riverdale.

Food fights are an unfortunate but not unusual occurrence in schools. A Georgia Stock Market Game team of public school fifth graders beating more than  3,800 teams of students –including high schools with economics classes, private schools and home-school programs — is unusual.

According to the AJC story, this is only the fourth time in 31 years an elementary school has won the contest. A team from Oliver Elementary has three of those wins: in 2007, 2008 and this year.

Many posters here take the position that excellence can’t be found in struggling urban systems, but this remarkable achievement attests that successes are happening and we ought to celebrate them more. That’s why I dislike blanket indictments of APS, DeKalb and Clayton, each of which can point to many successful schools and students.

Hats off to the teacher Mike Harrell and fifth-graders Jaylen Thompkins, Jacob Thomas and Kenny Chong. And please send investment advice. I could use it.

The story states:

Not only did they best the competition statewide, they outperformed the U.S. stock market — all while managing their investments during the afterschool program at E.W. Oliver Elementary School in Riverdale.

The trio earned nearly $63,000 on an initial hypothetical investment of $100,000 in the 10-week contest that ended April 8. They amassed a portfolio of $162,945.20, outperforming the U.S. stock market during that period by 58 percent.

Their portfolio consisted mainly of one stock — not the strategy money managers advise for investing real money. They started with three stocks but wound up basically betting the farm on pulp paper company Mercer International. It worked.

“The stats for the stock were very high,” Jacob, 11, explained.

After tracking Mercer’s activity for a while, the team realized “it was capable of doing things it needed to do to raise the stock,” added Jaylen, also 11 and the veteran of the group with three prior contests under his belt.

A team at Gwinnett County’s Parkview High School, which has an economics program, came in second. A team at Mount Zion High School in Carroll County was third. Winners were honored Tuesday at the Georgia Freight Depot in downtown Atlanta.

Oliver Elementary seems an unlikely incubator of investing savvy. Nearly seven in 10 of its students qualify for free or reduced lunches. Some come from homes where parents struggle to hang onto a paycheck, let alone a portfolio.

On the other hand, Oliver is consistently recognized as a top performer in a school district working its way back to full accreditation after much-publicized governance problems. It has Clayton’s highest attendance rate. Its basketball team is county champ. PTA meetings draw a diverse crowd of Clayton State University faculty members, airport workers and blue-collar types.

“It’s an absolute combination of parental involvement, community support and total school expectation of excellence,” Principal Kathleen Truitt said. “There’s a constant sense of working toward being the very best. Good is not good enough, “ Truitt said.

Jaylen, Jacob and Kenny, 10, picked up their investing skills as an after-school pastime. The boys were among eight teams of 32 Oliver students who participated in this latest game.

The boys’ stock market adviser, Mike Harrell, a physical education teacher, said the game is mainly a way to introduce finance and money management to students who normally would not be exposed.

“I’m not very involved at all,” he said. “I advise on price ranges to look at and whether they have enough money to buy a stock, but they rely more on research and individual stock websites than they rely on me.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

52 comments Add your comment

Ole Guy

May 11th, 2011
3:18 pm

This story harkens to the arguement of nature v nurture. We are all products of both the environments in which we find ourselves, and the random “mix n’ match” of genetic material…we have absolutely no control over the later, however, we can, only if we wish to, control the former.

Kenny, Jacob, Jaylen…good work…congratulations! Through your achievements, you have shown that it can be done. Yours’ is truly a gift; with that gift, as you mature, will come responsibility. Good luck and Godspeed, Guys!

Ed Johnson

May 11th, 2011
3:33 pm

“Jaylen, Jacob and Kenny, 10, picked up their investing skills as an after-school pastime.”

Wow! After-school pastime, huh. Intrinsic motivation can work wonders when the top leadership of a school district or particular school is more focused on preserving and nurturing it rather than squashing it.

Congratulations to Jaylen, Jacob and Kenny!

bob leblah

May 11th, 2011
3:38 pm

Maureen, the stock market is a guessing game. This doesn’t attest to a quality education. They didn’t beat people out on the stock market because they’re so well educated. They did it b/c of luck. Come on! This is so amateurish.

I’m not bashing kids, because I think its cool that young kids won this contest. However, this isn’t a major story! 13% of the time an elementary school wins this.

I wish people would actually think about what they are reporting versus just jumping onto what the news throws out.

Maureen Downey

May 11th, 2011
3:44 pm

@bob, Not sure I agree that stock market savvy is a matter of luck. The best investors are often the best informed.
Maureen

bob leblah

May 11th, 2011
3:44 pm

My HS Biology teacher’s father took her to buy a penny stock when she was very young. She picked Xerox. It went through the roof and she made a bunch of money. Was she evidence that the a quality education is being achieved. Come on folks, think with your own minds and not with what the media wants to push to you.

bob leblah

May 11th, 2011
3:52 pm

Really Maureen? The best investors are the ones that have contacts and obtain insider information (ie politicians who sign a bill push money into a sector and know that’ll give stocks in those companies a bump) You are stating that education is succeeding there b/c 3 or 4 kids guessed that a paper company would succeed. If a tornado had destroyed that paper company, by your logic, the education system wouldn’t be succeeding then.

Pompano

May 11th, 2011
3:53 pm

Gotta go with bob on this one. I would also imagine that the teacher has a lot to do with the investments picked as well.

Plus – how did the other 7 teams do from the school?

bob leblah

May 11th, 2011
3:58 pm

I also want to say, I think it is great that these young kids have taken to learning about finances and have also learned how to look at the health of company by its financial numbers. The 3 or 4 kids deserve credit for that, even if they had finished last in this competition. My point is, though, the idea that education is succeeding b/c they won a stock guessing game is silly. If the great majority of children at that school move on and graduate highschool and continue on to college, that is evidence that education is succeeding.

Corey

May 11th, 2011
4:07 pm

No. Bob et. al. would rather see them on the evening news in handcuffs.

Ole Guy

May 11th, 2011
4:12 pm

Bob, I hear what you’re saying, however, I think the beauty of this story lies, not in any level of financial savvy, but in the mere fact that these kids…really young men…have such an interest. Where ever life takes them, and as they mature in matters of fiscal responsibility, they will be able to apply their skill sets to whatever financial arrangements they enter. As informed consumers, they will, in time, (hopefully) cause a generational shift away from the irresponsible trends which have created much of our current fiscal woes.

A Conservative Voice

May 11th, 2011
4:12 pm

Yeah, I agree with bob……what’s the old saying?……”even a blind horse can find water every now and then”, or something like that, or maybe it was a dog, I don’t know :) This is just the liberal media trying to paint a picture of something that’s not really believable in the real world “most” of us are living in.

As for the food fight at Lovejoy, most of the time they’re just good clean fun :) however, the two who accosted the police officers should have been arrested and kicked out of any Clayton County school and prohibited from ever coming back. The other “kids” should be punished severely and warned that if it ever happens again, the same fate awaits them.

Jim

May 11th, 2011
4:22 pm

I don’t think that their success in this particular game is the big story. The story here is that the school (an elementary school in Clayton County), parents, and students are taking extra steps to ensure that these children are exposed to a variety of real life extracurricular activities that maybe will lead to future interest in finance, banking, or some other financial related career. It’s an awesome story that they have had a great history of success at the school playing the game but the exposure to these skills at such a young age will be something that these kids will have forever and is way more valuable than any trophy or recognition that they might receive. I agree that some of this game is luck, but they must be doing something right to win the state title 3 times against thousands of other teams in Georgia in only a few years. Great Job Guys!! Keep Up The Good Work!!

Contractor

May 11th, 2011
4:29 pm

I don’t consider this situation a gain in urban school education. You can’t sit there and tell me a group of 5th graders are more informed than a mature broker or higher educated students. I am very proud of them for doing a great job, and I do hope they make these same great decisions later in life, but I think this is a lame argument that urban schools are catching up to others. The stock market is a guessing game or an inside game like stated before in some other posts. One instance doesn’t tell the entire story, so I don’t see this as a proof that urban schools are ecelling that much more now.

MannyT

May 11th, 2011
4:53 pm

The average person doesn’t know a lot about stocks. The timeframe of the contest makes it likely that the winners are speculating in the right area at the right time. Not the best long term strategy, but it is still a good learning exercise.

The key part of this story is the participation. How many elementary school kids know anything about the stock market? If these kids find it interesting and continue to learn about the financial markets this is a good thing.

Stock broker is a very good job. These kids have a better chance to be stock brokers as adults than professional athletes. Kudos to them and Oliver ES that encourages students to learn about stocks…which probably improves their math skills as well.

Show me a school that has high STUDENT participation in science fairs, stock market challenges, media festivals, etc. and it is probably doing the right things to develop curiousity and interest in a variety of topics.

Itsmeagain

May 11th, 2011
5:00 pm

Man what is with all this hate. I’m sure rich and successful investors didn’t get to where they are by luck. It’s like saying that winning poker is purely out of luck. If that were the case, nobody could be good at it, just really lucky. These things do have chance involved, but it’s not pure chance that someone does well with stocks, one has to have a good education of what they need to do in order to be successful, and yes, you might do well every once in a while, but you don’t win. The entire thing just by luck.

Proud Educator

May 11th, 2011
5:08 pm

@ Bob Leblah: Actually, these competitions have been taking place since 1980. They usually have a winner for the fall and spring, two per season in some cases. Out of 73 winners only three were elementary school, and Oliver won twice. Impressive in my book. Check the list of winners below:
http://www.gcee.org/stock_market/SMGStateWinners.asp

catlady

May 11th, 2011
5:18 pm

I think it is great that these young people got to participate in something like this. That they ended up doing well is a bonus. We should be offering kids all kinds of opportunities, BUT THE SCHOOL CAN’T DO IT ALL! PARENTS have to step up, too, and help their children explore the world and follow their interests.

I don’t think this is a vindication or an indictment of urban schools.

"bob leblah" is an idiot!

May 11th, 2011
5:37 pm

Yeah, I said it! Bob, et al., you all must be pretty feeble men to come on this site and trash a group of fifth graders! Are you serious?

Besides, you need to check your own reading comprehension skills. Please re-read Maureen’s post. She never says that the kids’ achievement was proof that every urban school was high achieving. What she said was, “Many posters here take the position that excellence can’t be found in struggling urban systems, but this remarkable achievement attests that successes are happening and we ought to celebrate them more. That’s why I dislike blanket indictments of APS, DeKalb and Clayton, each of which can point to many successful schools and students.”

Also, you say that this isn’t a major story because “13 percent of the time an elementary school wins.” Now, a math lesson for you: That means that – statistically – slightly more than one time out of 10, or roughly once a decade, an elementary school wins the competition. I think most sane folks would agree that is indeed worthy of note.

You are the poster child for conservative, Republican hypocrisy. Using your flawed, gargantuan-leap logic, since these kids got “lucky,” doesn’t that mean that all of the mega rich brokers on Wall Street get “lucky” everyday? (Your hypothetical about what IF the paper mill got destroyed is hilariously idiotic! Hell, IF your bull could give milk it would be cow!).

But wait …. I thought all of those successful Wall Street types got where they are because of hard work and by pulling themselves up by their Gucci straps! So which is it, Bob, luck or hard work?

The answer is both. These kids got a bit lucky, but they studied the market climate and made their selections, which means they’re also obviously bright … and they happen to be students in an urban (a.k.a., all Black) elementary school. Just like my nephew, who went to an all Black elementary school, an all black middle school and an all Black high school before going on to Harvard, and earning his degree in sociology last spring so he could … (wait for it) … work on Wall Street for Goldman Sachs, which is what he’s doing right now.

So, please, “Bob,” “Conservative Voice” and “Contractor,” mix in a little truth with your Fox News, Hannity, Limbaugh and Beck. And while you’re at it, get over the fact that the leader of the free world and his wife are Black/urban …. and Common will STILL be performing poetry at the White House.

Yeah, I said that too. I’m quite sure your disdain for “urban” education, which prompted you to get on this blog and shout down the achievements of three fifth graders, is rooted in something much more sinister and ugly. Grow up!

So much ignorance, so little time to squash it!

Lynn

May 11th, 2011
6:00 pm

Credit absolutely needs to go to these students and all of the other students who participated. What an incredible learning experience. This is just one example of the great work that the Georgia Council on Economic Education does with our schools. The GCEE works with corporate sponsors to bring a high level of economic education to our schools through a variety of resources. Our students and teachers benefit greatly from this wonderful resource.

Urban does not mean black

May 11th, 2011
6:04 pm

Maureen and “bob leblah” is an idiot!, Clayton County is NOT an Urban area. If you mean black say black.

Ghostwriter

May 11th, 2011
6:17 pm

Well well, a feel good story (if a paragraph followed by someone else’s story is a story) about 3 kids who have a “coach” winning a competition. Ok, what about their school’s CRCT scores? Give me something more tangible than random guesswork. The more we plaster feel good candy corn stories featuring “urban” kids, the more political corrwrongness quashes real gains. I work with black students every day, they need constant plaster to keep their walls up, and this won’t suffice. We need active intervention and more after school clube to keep them away from home as long as possible. They come from caustic environments and everyone here knows it.
On a side not, in my town tey finally put nets on the low income housing basketball nets! Yay! how’s that for feel-good news? Please. These kids need structure to succeed, period.

Double Zero Eight

May 11th, 2011
6:25 pm

The key is parental involvement. Many bloggers have
stated this on previous blogs. You do not have to be
an aerospace engineer to come up with that conclusion.

Double Zero Eight

May 11th, 2011
6:32 pm

If the ionvestors on Wall Streey were so darn smart. they would
have seen the “tsunami coming” regarding mortgages. They are
synonymous to gamblers in Las Vegas in most instances.

Double Zero Eight

May 11th, 2011
6:35 pm

Spelled “investors” and “Street”incorrectly on my previous post.
Enter your comments here

Nikole

May 11th, 2011
6:40 pm

I believe that you can have an incredibly bright, intrinsically motivated group of students in a poor school. These students should be celebrated for their individual accomplishments, but how does this prove that their urban school is doing well? It proves that students that have a desire to do more than rap or play ball exist, and their efforts in school should celebrated with the same fervor we give athletes.

Ghostwriter

May 11th, 2011
6:43 pm

008- They did…credit default swaps made many people rich. Forget your mechanics, such things only discourage people from speaking their minds in forums. I suggest reading through Robert Kiyaoski’s archive on yahoo finance, he discusses investor’s policy of bundling toxic mortgages and betting they would fail. Banks did this as well, making billions, then playing momma bird and getting billions in bailouts for a fake broken wing.

The arts in our schools paid for it, education as a whole paid for it.

Check out the affordable housing act. It is an aggressive measure aimed at low income individuals into housing. APS was hit hard by loans going bad that were made to unqualified buyers. The foreclosures ripple effect extends far beyond ATL.

destin dawg

May 11th, 2011
6:45 pm

Bob leblah is an idiot for sure… please teach the kids to save and invest… personal responsibility please !! great athletes.. lottery winners…eyc.. end up broke because they can’t handle investing $$$$$ !!!! make money the ” OLD Fashioned Way…. they EARN it “

NTLB

May 11th, 2011
6:59 pm

ur·ban adj \ˈər-bən\
Definition of URBAN
: of, relating to, characteristic of, or constituting a city

Since when does the Clayton County school distric qualify as an urban school district?

bob leblah

May 11th, 2011
7:06 pm

@ the real idiot. Did you read everything I said. I didn’t trash fifth graders. My point was, Maureen’s contention that this was an indicator that urban schools succeed was false. As I previously stated, it was a guessing game. How is guessing on a stock and the stock going up in price evidence of a “success” in school.

It’s funny b/c you’re essentially calling me a racist, but you’ve completely profiled me based on the fact that I don’t think this is and example of urban schools succeeding. You have also grandstanded over the fact that black people are in a position leadership. What does this have to do with Obama or poetry? I have nothing to do with wall street. Good for your nephew, that is a more concrete example of what Maureen is saying. However, just to let you know, he now works for the root of all evil.

I don’t have disdain for “urban” education, I have disdain for “bad” education and I still say this is not an example of “urban” education succeeding. If you want to pretend, go right ahead.

FYI- my example of a tornado taking out the paper company is way over your head, b/c you completely missed the point.

PS stop living vicariously through your nephew. It’s embarassing.

Personal Finance Educator

May 11th, 2011
7:15 pm

It is not all luck! I am so thankful that you ran this story. I was at the luncheon. African American kids are finally being exposed to the market. When you invest in a corporation, you are taking a risk. Still the hope is that research and development by the corporation will provide better goods and services in the future. In addition, more jobs will be added. Its not just a game of chance. Go to http://www.smg2000.org and check out the wealth of lessons kids learn while being part of this simulation. The Math exposure, research on corporate balance sheets, international effects on the U.S. Economy, preparation of portfolios, study of how supply and demand affect stocks and the use of this as a leading indicator should silence the naysayers.
My hat goes off to Dr. Martin and the Ga Council on Economic Education which sponsors the game. Teachers and students love it. And, a special shout out to that urban high school from APS that won the National Championship last year (Frederick Douglass High School) and their teacher, Ms. Beracki. No other school from Georgia has repeated. Go Oliver Elementary, go! I heard that she went to South Atlanta and helped the students win the Atlanta region both semesters. Give the kids at Oliver and their teacher their accolades!

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

May 11th, 2011
7:46 pm

CONGRATULATIONS to these three young men and their teacher!

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

May 11th, 2011
7:59 pm

Maureen,

How many of our kids do not excel academically because they matriculate in unfavorable teaching and learning environments?

THANKS for recognizing Kenny, Jacob, Jaylen and Coach Harrell for their outstanding achievement!

Dr. Proud Black Man

May 11th, 2011
10:19 pm

Congrats to the kids! Please ignore the “adult” nimrods knocking you. They would rather see you locked up but are to cowardly to say so.

[...] Whiz kid investors in Clayton fifth grade remind us that urban schools can excel | Get Schooled Clayton students beat the market *| ajc.com Oliver Elementary School > [...]

Dr. John Trotter

May 11th, 2011
11:05 pm

Contratulations to the kids at Oliver! My daughter attended this school years ago when Bill Horton was the principal…about the same time or a little time before Sam King arrived as Assistant Principal. Those were some fun times, especially the Fall Festivals. Horton went on to become Clayton’s Interim Deputy Superintendent and Sam King, of course, is still Superintendent of Rockdale County Schools. At one time, Oliver had the greatest voting precinct in the area. Those parents showed up at the polls! Riverdale One Precinct. If you could carry this precinct, you had a good chance for victory. Great parent involvement.

Ghostwriter

May 12th, 2011
6:51 am

Dr. proud (more like angry) black man-
Interesting word alignment you sling. You seem to have mislabeled “nimrods,” they are detractors aiming at the scope of journalism, not the kids.
I think the overall people find it polarizing when a couple of AA children are highlighted, and not a SCHOOL. What about the other students? What about young lives squandeded in a cultural environment for many where education is not a priority and materialism is? What about those kids. I like to hear you come to their defense, I really do. But maybe you could mentor one. We can’t get enough AA mentors where I life. The black community needs leaders who don’t take no for an answer. Maybe you can be that.

All the best,

GW

Dr NO

May 12th, 2011
8:25 am

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

Could we get more information regarding this food fight?

Dr NO

May 12th, 2011
8:27 am

“What about the other students? What about young lives squandeded in a cultural environment for many where education is not a priority and materialism is? What about those kids.”

What about them?

"bob leblah" is an idiot!

May 12th, 2011
8:48 am

“Bob” I have no need to live vicariously through my nephew. I’m 43, have my own degree from Morehouse, own my own home (well, the bank does at this point) in S. Fulton, am a director at my firm (i.e. solidly middle management), been married for 19 years to a lovely, talented UGA-educated educator (Go Dogs!), and have three kids, all on the honor rolls at their schools (my two high schoolers are on the Principal’s List). So, I’m good, thank you!

And YOU ARE STILL AN IDIOT because you STILL don’t get Maureen’s point. It wasn’t that all urban schools succeed. It was that there are very good students and pockets of true excellence at these schools that should be applauded, while continuing with the work of trying to make these schools viable.

And yes, I do indeed stand behind the fact that you are a closeted, cowardly racist, because you won’t at least come out and admit it. I’m sure, based on your words, that you think negatively about anything urban/Black, especially schools. That includes the president, his wife, and her choice of poet to perform at the White House.

And I TOTALLY get your tornado taking out the paper mill analogy. It speaks to your premise that the kids were “lucky”. They were “lucky” that a tornado didn’t take out the paper mill they invested in, hypothetically. Again, to you they were “lucky,” not well prepared because they studied market trends. Not well taught by their teacher/coach at their urban/Black school. Just “lucky.”

So, please, Bob, you are what you are. A mental lightweight who thinks that because they listen to talk radio that qualifies them as being learned. Try reading a couple of magazines or books sometime, and be a little more diverse than National Review or Aryn Rand.

Anytime you feel “lucky” enough to debate another topic, feel free to opine; although next time, bring a bigger intellect when you’re dealing with me. This was too easy!

Dr. Proud Black Man

May 12th, 2011
9:03 am

@ghostwriter

Patronize someone else dippy.

Markell (proud father)

May 12th, 2011
9:05 am

It’s really sad that a story about three 5th grade boys could cause such mean spirited banter from adults. Accusations are thrown back and forth. Blanket “Ass”umptions are being made and many of you are ignorant to the facts.
 I hope can offer some clarity regarding these children and their participation in the Georgia Stock Market Game. 
   I’ll start with the school. E.W. Oliver is a predominately black school, located in Clayton County, Georgia. African American for the politically correct obsessed in the group. The school ranks high among elementary schools in Clayton County and Georgia. It has always made AYP and has received the “school of distinction” badge. There is an active school council board and PTA, CRCT scores always rank among the top in the county. Parental involvement is very high. Oliver has a culture of high expectations and excellence. Oliver has won the state stock market competition 3 times in the last four years, 2007,2008,2011. In 2007 Oliver had 6 teams in the top 10 and swept 1-3. I’d hardly call that “luck”. Unless by luck you mean lucky to have high achieving students, lucky to have dedicated teachers, lucky to have supportive parents, lucky to have an advisor in coach Harrel, lucky to have 32 teams of motivated boys and girls who just happen to be black. Now on to Jaylen,Jacob,and Kenny. Kenny is a 5th grader who attends E.W. Oliver. He only just turned 9. Yes he is in the 5th grade and he is only 9 years old. For the slow to comprehend that means he is a academically one grade year advanced. His parents are both high school educators. Jaylen is a high achieving student who has been on a Stock Team @ Oliver for 3 years. So he has been doing this since he was only 8 years old. I don’t know where some of you live but I don’t know many 8 year olds interested in the Market. Lastly we have Jacob who is my son. He is an honor student, he’s been a participant in the gifted program at E.W Oliver since k-5. He is also a Duke TIP participant. For the uniformed Duke TIP is an academic organization sponsored by Duke University for intellectually gifted students. Students are selected by achieving high scores on tests taken by other academically advanced or gifted students only the top 5% of scores in THE COUNTRY are accepted. He has also been selected as a People to People young ambassador which meets in Washington D.C. He has also received a perfect score on the CRCT. I hope I have cleared up some of the misconceptions and assumptions some of you have regarding this great community story we should all be very proud of. A story about Very High achieving students who happen to be black who attend a predominately black elementary school in Clayton County, Georgia. These children belong to all of us. We should recognize their gifts, applaud their achievements and pray they continue to be positive influences in their community. I am as proud as proud can be. I hope all of you are as well.

RJ

May 12th, 2011
9:06 am

All I can say is that I love this story! Congrats to the teacher and students for their success.

bob leblah

May 12th, 2011
9:08 am

@idiot – I wonder how many times you’ve called someone a racist in your life, off little or no information. I’m willing to bet a lot. You seem to use that word as a defense mechanism.

Congrats on middle management at 43.

Economics Teacher

May 12th, 2011
10:25 am

I’ve played this game a few times with my students. It is totally a matter of luck not skill. It is NOT the way that we teach people to invest in the stock market. What I tell them to do when they are old enough is growth stock mutual funds. Mutual funds are never going to win you the stock market game but they are a wise long-term investment.

Dr. Proud Black Man

May 12th, 2011
11:41 am

@ Markell (proud father)

Once again congratulations! Pay no attention to the nay-sayers here. Just closeted racists too scared to speak in public so they use the, anonymous, internet. Nothing but cowardly self-rightous fools.

Cheryl

May 12th, 2011
12:54 pm

Well said, (Markell) Proud Father!

Economics Teacher, it seems like you missed the entire point of the game. And did you read the full article? The kid’s adviser states clearly: “A lot of it’s luck and they have fun,” said Harrell, who’s been the adviser since Oliver started entering the stock market game in 2005. “But we’re really striving for financial literacy. I try to clear up a lot of fallacies and give them some faith in the financial system…….” and as to his personal investments? “I don’t really follow the strategy it takes to win the stock market competition,” he said. “I’m a safe investor more than a gambler.”

I just really have to wonder why so many adults find it necessary to fill their day trying to find something negative to debate about this sort of article. The statement that the kid’s and the school’s achievement here has nothing to do with a “quality education” is absurd! What, then, would you consider quality education? As Markell (Proud Father) pointed out, this school has a documented history of striving for and achieving academic excellence. Do you think any teacher participates in after school programs such as the stock market game because he or she is being PAID for it? Do any of you think these children would have learned about the stock market on their own, much less enjoyed it? How could any of you dismiss the valuable lessons these kids have learned?

If interest is built among children at a young age, and they find success in their efforts, do you really think that is not worthwhile!? When a child is recognized and praised for their efforts, do they not continue in that manner? Perhaps if there were more elementary schools educating their kids the ways these quality educators at Oliver have been, we wouldn’t also be reading a headline that a food fight got so out of control that 10 students were arrested.

EducationCEO

May 12th, 2011
12:56 pm

Congratulatiosn to the students, their parents, the teachers, and the school for having the motivation to even provide after-school activities..maybe I should leave Gwinnett and move to Clayton. Anywho, some of us never doubted that urban kids could excel. It happens everyday but sex, drugs, violence, and corruprion make for better headlines.

EducationCEO

May 12th, 2011
12:58 pm

Oops, congratulations!

Ghostwriter

May 13th, 2011
6:57 am

Some Doctor you are, too lazy for parlay. I think you are just inept. Or maybe I need to be Dr. proud white man. Anyone who feels the need to identify their race in their un probably has bigger problems.

-like the fact that they can talk but not mentor

-criticize others but not themselves

-miss gaping holes in their community

-you are the lack of leadership because your meager banter can’t solve problems.

have a nice day!

Philosopher

May 13th, 2011
8:48 am

A food fight is good clean fun at Lovett and these kids’ accomplishment isn’t worth mentioning?? Proud Black Man, I don’t agree with you very often..but this time I believe you have called it right!