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Financial Ignorance is Not an Option

BY: RYAN LEUNG, rising senior, Lexington High School and 2016 winner of the National Economics Challenge

If the goal of high school is to prepare students for life after graduation, then most schools in our country are not meeting that standard. While our school system prepares students with the academic skills needed to succeed, there is one glaring flaw: most students graduate with next to no knowledge on managing finances.

Money-management skills are more important than ever to navigate the economic realities of the modern marketplace, yet most states still do not require high schools to offer personal finance classes. In lieu of high school personal finance classes, most teens either learn from their mistakes or look to parents for personal finance lessons. Unfortunately, not all parents are well-equipped to serve as financial models for their children.

To address this growing national problem, a group of students from Lexington, Massachusetts founded Project Finance, an organization to promote financial literacy in high schools. We distributed a survey to all public high schools across the state and found an absence of universally accepted financial literacy standards across the Commonwealth. As such, Project Finance has been pushing for the adoption of financial literacy standards, and in March 2017 successfully requested the State Board of Education to review the Council for Economic Education’s National Standards for Financial Literacy for implementation into the state curriculum. This is only a start; offering a personal finance class in each high school is the necessary next step to prepare our students to become informed consumers, investors and participants in our global economy.

Being financially literate cannot guarantee future success, but the personal and national costs of being financially ignorant are immense. My generation is being academically prepared for life after graduation; it is now time for us to be financially prepared.

 

This op-ed piece was published in the Council for Economic Education’s 2018 Survey of the States.

POSTED: February 15, 2018 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ohio Government Making Smart Choices

BY: SENATOR LOU TERHAR, Ohio Senate, District 8

The low level of financial literacy in Ohio (and nationwide) exacerbated the effects of the Great Recession. Ohio is ranked fourth worst in financial literacy of the 50 states, has the sixth highest proportion of college graduate student loan debt and ranks 33rd in average per capita defined contribution retirement funds balance, at just $27,000.

Ohio House Bill 391, passed in 2016 in the 131st General Assembly, was an effort to improve financial literacy in Ohio. The bill provided for $318,000 for Smart Ohio, a program supporting curriculum, teacher stipends and student assessments to deliver professional development to Ohio teachers in grades 1-6, created and delivered primarily by the Economics Center for Education and Research of the University of Cincinnati. An initial pilot project, which provided teachers with training in a solid and proven system, resulted in major gains in the financial literacy of children. The General Assembly was so impressed with the program’s results that continued funding for Smart Ohio was approved by both Houses even in very difficult budget negotiations.

In Smart Ohio’s first year, 500 teachers were trained, impacting approximately 12,500 students. By 2021, it will reach 75,000 students at a cost of $8.48 per student. The continued funding will increase the impact on Ohio student financial literacy capabilities, at a lower per student basis, ensuring that as many students as possible can make mature, informed financial choices that will allow them to prosper in a free market. The legislature’s support of this statewide program reflects a belief that the future of our state lies in the economic and financial literacy of our students. We are proud to support our future leaders in their development of good decision-making skills.

This op-ed piece was published in the Council for Economic Education’s 2018 Survey of the States.

POSTED: February 14, 2018 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Where Does Your State Stand?

Every two years, the Council for Economic Education (CEE) conducts a comprehensive look into the state of K-12 economic and financial education in the United States, collecting data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The biennial Survey of the States serves as an important benchmark for our progress, revealing both how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. There has been notable progress since the first survey was published in 1998, yet the pace of change has slowed. The 2018 Survey of the States shows that there has been little increase in economic education in recent years and no growth in personal finance education.

Research shows that requirements are the main driver of economics and personal finance being taught in schools. CEE works with our nationwide network of affiliates to both advocate for requirements and assist in their implementation. To support local and state advocacy initiatives, we have developed voluntary standards in economics and personal finance, nationally-normed, curriculum-agnostic assessments in economics and personal finance, and an online advocacy toolkit.

You can help strengthen economic and personal finance education by: 

  • Requesting a course in your school or district
  • Calling for more teacher-training
  • Promoting standards and course requirements at the state level.

Where does your state stand?


This piece was published in the Council for Economic Education’s 2018 Survey of the States.

POSTED: February 12, 2018 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: , , , , , , , ,

CNBC’s Steve Liesman Covers CEE’s 15th National Economics Challenge

The Council for Economic Education’s 15th National Economics Challenge finals were held in NYC on Monday. Over 10,500 students participated nationwide, with only 32 making it to the finals and only 16 to the final quiz bowl round, hosted by Steve Liesman, CNBC’s senior economics reporter. The final round was covered live on CNBC’s Power Lunch and CNBC’s Nightly Business Report on PBS featured it as well.

CNBC Power Lunch

CNBC Nightly News Report

Please join us in congratulating the winning teams. To learn more about each team check out our Facebook page.

Adam Smith Division:

First Place: Mounds View High School, Arden Hills, Minnesota
Team Members: Abraham Chen, Emily Ruan, Samuel Rush and Jacob Weightman
Coach: Martha Rush

 

Second Place: Carmel High School, Carmel, Indiana

Third Place: Lexington High School, Lexington, Massachusetts

Fourth Place: The Harker School, San Jose, California


David Ricardo Division:

 

First Place: Homestead High School, Cupertino, California
Team Members: Richard Chen, Kazu Kogachi, Steven McDonald and Erik Yang
Coach: Christy Heaton

 

Second Place: Carmel High School, Carmel, Indiana

Third Place: Iolani High School, Honolulu, Hawaii

Fourth Place: Charter School of Delaware, Wilmington Delaware


If you would like students in your local high school to participate, you, a teacher or a principal can contact Rosanna Castillo. They can learn more about the Challenge on our website.

 

POSTED: May 20, 2015 | BY: Annamarie Cerreta | TAGS: , , , , ,

2014 Visionary Awards Fireside Chat

The Council for Economic Education hosted its 9th Annual Visionary Awards dinner last October. The dinner is an annual celebration honoring leaders who promote economic and financial literacy to create a better-informed society.

The Visionary Awards Honorees were:

  • Richard G. Ketchum, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, FINRA;
  • Raymon W. McDaniel, Jr., President and Chief Executive officer, Moody’s Corporation;
  • Professor Christina D. Romer, Class of 1957 – Garff B. Wilson Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley;
  • David Wessel, Director of The Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at The Brookings Institution and Contributing Correspondent to The Wall Street Journal.

Master of Ceremonies Steve Liesman, CNBC Senior Economics Reporter, led the night’s Fireside Chat covering such topics as the United States’ road to recovery, the broader role banks will have in the economy, and the public perception of President Obama’s handling of the economy.

POSTED: February 10, 2015 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: , , , , , ,

Calling All Teachers: Join the Council for Economic Education For 53rd Annual Financial and Economic Literacy Conference in Dallas

Hands-On Sessions and Valuable Networking Opportunities for K-12 Educators

DALLAS, TX (June 25, 2014) This October, the Council for Economic Education will convene over 500 K-12 educators, industry thought leaders, and local affiliate, Federal Reserve and other partners from across the country for the 53rd Annual Financial and Economic Literacy Conference in Dallas, Texas. With networking events and over 100 hands-on training sessions, teachers can attest to the conference’s invaluable benefits: 96% of 2013 attendees reported that they are still using information or resources they gained at the conference; and 100% of attendees would recommend CEE’s Annual Conference to a colleague. And what’s more, by attending, teachers will earn certificates of completion that may be applied toward CEU requirements.

Annual Conference sessions are designed to help teachers incorporate economic and financial literacy in the classroom, offering an incredible opportunity to share and exchange ideas. A few highlights:

Additionally, special roundtable sessions led by master teachers offer an opportunity to share best practices at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

This year’s distinguished guest speakers include  Richard53rd Annual Financial Literacy and Economic Education Conference W. Fisher (invited), President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Sharon Epperson, CNBC Senior Energy and Personal Finance Correspondent and frequent contributor to Today and NBC Nightly News; and Professor Alan B. Krueger, Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Professor Krueger served as Chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and a Member of his Cabinet from November 2011 to August 2013.

The 53rd Annual Financial and Economic Literacy Conference will be held October 8 – 11 at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

For more information about the Annual Conference and to register please visit: https://www.councilforeconed.org/events/cee-national-conference/

About the Council for Economic Education

The Council for Economic Education is the leading organization in the United States that focuses on the economic and financial education of students from kindergarten through high school – and we have been doing so for 65 years. We carry out our mission by educating the educators: providing the curriculum tools, the pedagogical support, and the community of peers that instruct, inspire, and guide. All resources and programs are developed by educators, and delivered by our national network of affiliates. Our goal is to reach and teach every child. Each year CEE’s programs reach more than 55,000 K-12 teachers and over 5 million students across the United States. For further information about the Council for Economic Education go to: http://dev-council-econed.pantheonsite.io.

POSTED: June 30, 2014 | BY: admin | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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