Financial Education

Working to Advance Financial Education in Schools

Richard Cordray 264x300 Working to Advance Financial Education in Schools
By Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


As we observe National Financial Literacy Month, let us all continue our efforts to ensure children and youth develop the skills and habits that will help them to make better financial decisions as they become adults. There is not a single good reason – none – that should prevent any American from gaining the knowledge and skills needed to build a healthy financial future.

With a growing number of committed public, private, and nonprofit organizations working to advance K-12 financial education, no one needs to go it alone. Just recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) developed a resource guide to support leaders interested in advancing K-12 financial education by connecting them to ongoing conversations and providing access to information, tools, and resources. The guide includes a framework, case studies and strategies on how best to lay the groundwork, build the initiative, and extend the impact of K-12 financial education. The resource guide is called “Advancing K-12 Financial Education: A Guide for Policymakers” and is available for download.

When I served as the Franklin County Treasurer in Ohio a decade ago, we formed a local committee on personal financial education to help further the vision of a society where everyone could strengthen their financial skills. We gathered information about school programs for young people and community programs for adults, and we matched people up with those available resources. With the support of a broad coalition we created an impetus for what is now an Ohio state law that requires personal financial education for all high school students through the integration of economics and financial literacy within social studies classes or another class. Ohio is one of 17 states to require that high school students take a personal finance course in order to graduate.

Achieving meaningful and lasting change will require bold and innovative approaches. The CFPB resource guide is a bridge to connect leaders with tools, information, and insights to help them enhance K-12 financial education efforts. As policymakers continue to explore options to incorporate financial education throughout the K-12 experience, I hope that everyone who is interested in financial education for our nation’s children will use this guide and share it with others.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” This may be most true in the case of financial education. Starting early with age-appropriate and relevant financial education and consistently reinforcing those lessons throughout the K-12 school experience can help children and youth develop positive habits and skills that can make a lifetime of difference in their financial well-being.

POSTED: April 22, 2015 | BY: Jonathan Burch | TAGS: , , , ,

It’s All About Implementation: Promising Results for State Financial Education Mandates

J. Michael Collins Its All About Implementation: Promising Results for State Financial Education MandatesBy J. Michael Collins, Ph.D., Center for Financial Security, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The growing complexity of financial decisions facing American consumers has prompted an increased emphasis by policymakers on promoting financial education at all stages of life. One group of specific concern is young adults, as they have been shown to have particularly low levels of financial literacy (Lusardi et al., 2010 ).

The 2008 financial crisis further demonstrated the need for broad-based financial education. However, the existing body of research on the effectiveness of financial literacy education has yielded limited evidence that it improves financial outcomes and behaviors according to research (Fernandes et al., 2014 and Willis, 2011

Policymakers have promoted financial education in schools as a means of combating negative financial behaviors and low levels of financial knowledge. However, research on the effectiveness of financial education has found, at best, mixed evidence in terms of education resulting in changes in financial behaviors. Even in the absence of evidence on the effectiveness of financial education, policymakers at the state level have expanded and strengthened personal finance and economic education requirements for K–12 students, a topic which has been taught in K–12 public schools in the U.S. since the 1950s. Determining which particular financial education programs yield the greatest benefits would allow states to design an effective curriculum.

Yet, we have natural “experiments” in states all the time, where school systems implement new mandates for courses that must be taught–and tested–before a student can graduate. At least 2 states, Georgia and Texas, did so in 2007. Thanks to data from the Federal reserve, my CFS [] colleagues Carly Urban [ ] and Max Schmeiser [ ] were able to obtain a sample of credit records for people in these states and nearby states (New Mexico and Florida–both states with no change in financial education mandates for high school graduation).

We then compared the changes in credit scores and loan delinquencies in states after implementation of the mandate to the changes in comparable states that did not pass mandates. Both GA and TX implemented well-documented requirements and testing, so we are confident students who graduated after 2007 were exposed, at least on average, to more financial education. Overall, we find that if a rigorous financial education program is carefully implemented in schools, it can improve the credit scores and lower the probability of delinquency for young adults. In Georgia, graduates after the new education mandates have credit scores 11 points higher and 30 day delinquencies are lower by 4.2 percent. In Texas, graduates after the mandate have credit scores over 31.7 points higher and lower 90-day delinquency rates by 6 percent, a relative decrease in delinquency rate of 33 percent (view full report: ).

All young people have lower credit scores—they are learning by experience. And, according to our data, nearly a quarter of young people are 30 or more days behind on at least one account. Yet, payments have big effects on the credit score of someone with a brief credit history and therefore, avoiding missed payments can have real long run effects.

More work needs to be done to understand what forms of education best benefit young people, if starting earlier has larger effects, and if less intense requirements might result in similarly sized benefits. We still do not know how well these effects will persist into later adulthood—but formal education may jump start trial and error learning that young adults often experience in credit markets.

POSTED: April 15, 2015 | BY: Jonathan Burch | TAGS: , , , ,

Teaching Opportunity – January 2015

download teaching opportunity january 2015 Teaching Opportunity   January 2015

In This Issue:

  • 2015 Call for Annual Conference Proposals
  • 2 New Math in the Real World Lessons Now Available
  • AP Micro and AP Macro Economics Bundle: Special Discount
  • Your Teaching Has An Impact!
  • 3 Demonstration Videos for HS Economics
  • This Day in Economic History

Read more…

POSTED: January 26, 2015 | BY: John Jones | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CEE Offers Free Online Assessment Center

online assessment center large CEE Offers Free Online Assessment Center

The Council for Economic Education is now offering the Online Assessment Center. The OAC is a free online resource that provides teachers with an easy and efficient way of measuring their students’ academic progress. It allows teachers to track real-time data on their students’ understanding of economic and financial concepts.
Read more…

POSTED: December 1, 2014 | BY: kwilliams | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Students Celebrate CEE’s 65th Birthday

In celebrating the Council for Economic Education’s 65th Birthday, we asked students to share their thoughts on the age of 65. CEE asked a group of K-12 students to finish the thought, “When I’m 65…” Watch them share their ideas and goals below!

happy birthday cee video Students Celebrate CEE’s 65th Birthday

Students like these have benefited from CEE since its creation in 1948. Since then, it has provided economic education and financial literacy to elementary, middle, and high school students throughout the nation. To do this, over the past 65 years CEE has focused on “educating the educators” and equipping them with the necessary resources so that students like those in the video have the ability to realize their dreams over the next 65 years.

POSTED: November 25, 2014 | BY: kwilliams | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kids on Economics

What do kids think about economics? Watch this video to see elementary, middle and high school students talk about the importance of understanding economics and personal finance principles. You’ll be surprised to see how insightful these kids are when they talk about viewing the world through economic lenses!

Watch Kid’s on Economics!

POSTED: November 18, 2014 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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