Annamaria Lusardi is the Denit Trust professor of economics and accountancy at the George Washington School of Business.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
To fully appreciate this blog, we must first get real about the state of financial literacy in our country.
The case for teaching teachers:
Research suggests that children begin developing attitudes and behaviors about money as young as six or seven, the same age most enter their first formal educational setting. Surprisingly though, only 17 states require high school students to complete a course in personal finance. According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 89% of teachers believe more should be done, but only 20% feel “very confident” to deliver any of the six curriculum topics surveyed.
In 2015, The North Carolina Council on Economic Education (Winner of the 2018 CEE Council of the Year Award) and Fidelity Investments® set out to change the narrative. The original vision: Develop a stand-alone financial literacy professional development workshop designed to fully equip teachers with the resources needed to help students appreciate the importance of personal finance. As the program quickly grew in popularity, so did a desire from educators to further improve their own understanding too. Insert Jump$tatrt and their acclaimed “Financial Foundations for Educators” curriculum. This combination of knowledge AND tools was the secret sauce for a lasting solution that continues to inspire financial futures today. “Teacher Trainings” are now hosted in all 11 Fidelity Investments locations across the United States.
“When we can share our expertise, especially with the community, it’s an authentic way to give back and make a difference.” – Pamela Everhart, Head of Regional Public Affairs and Community Relations, Fidelity Investments
Student impact multiplier effect:
Since inception, the program has reached more than 1,400 teachers and, in turn, 150,000+ students.
“I look back at my younger self and I think about what I wish I’d known. To be able to introduce these concepts to my students means they’re getting a jump start in life.”
– Krista Scarlett, Teacher, Goffstown High School, NH.
With more and more young people acquiring student loan debt, the need for personal finance is more dire than ever. CEE will continue to play our part and – together with you – help combat those earlier, opportunistic statistics…one deserving student and teacher at a time.
KeyBank Foundation has donated $7,500 to the Council for Economic Education’s New York Center for Economic and Financial Education in support of K-12 financial and economic education in New York-Metro area schools.
The donation will provide professional development opportunities for New York teachers through two in-person workshops and two webinars. The Center will train 130 to 140 teachers who will, in turn, reach approximately 8,600 to 9,600 students. The teachers will receive Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) credits for participation in these workshops.
“At KeyBank, we believe it’s never too early to introduce smart money management skills to young people, and help establish a foundation for Financial Wellness,” said KeyBank Market President Joseph Markey. “Giving teachers the skills and knowledge to bring financial literacy into the classroom is a great way to do this, and we are proud to support the initiative.”
KeyBank Foundation’s mission is to support organizations that prepare individuals such as teachers for thriving futures. This grant ties into their mission to support the workforce with the necessary skills, education and capabilities to further advance their professional careers and the futures of the children they serve.
“Currently, only 17 states require high school students to take a course in personal finance and only 20 states require high school students to take a course in economics,” said Nan J. Morrison, President and CEO, Council for Economic Education. “Even in states where requirements and standards are strong, very few teachers feel comfortable teaching financial topics. With KeyBank Foundation’s support, we are able to help close the knowledge gap.”
KeyBank Foundation, the nonprofit charitable foundation of KeyBank, serves to fulfill KeyBank’s purpose to help clients and communities thrive by providing meaningful philanthropic investments that transform lives. The Foundation’s mission is advanced through three funding priorities – neighbors, education, and workforce – and through community service.
KeyBank has 54 branch offices serving individuals, families and businesses throughout its Hudson Valley/Metro NY market.
Representatives from KeyBank will be presenting the check on May 7th at 2 pm at KeyBank’s Tarrytown, NY office.
To learn more about KeyBank Foundation’s mission, please visit: https://www.key.com/about/community/key-foundation-philanthropy-banking.jsp
Media and partnership inquiries, please contact April Somboun, Council for Economic Education, Director, Marketing & Communications, 212-730-6727.
We are excited to announce we have teamed up with Kidfund to make it easier for families to save for their children’s future and college tuition. Kidfund is a socially powered savings app that lets families and friends contribute to the child’s account. The app engages the child in the process so they can understand the power of saving and watch their money grow.
This partnership is a natural extension of CEE’s mission to provide children with the knowledge and tools to create financial stability for themselves and their families. As a result of the CEE and Kidfund partnership, CEE will receive $10 for each new family that opens an account and starts to save to support its mission.
We hope you’ll sign up for your child’s free account today and/or pass along this information to others who you think can benefit from this. And, for a limited time only, families new to Kidfund will receive $5 when they sign up and start saving. The funds are held securely in individual accounts at USALLIANCE Financial. The accounts are completely free (no fee, no minimums), earn 3% interest on the first $500, and are FDIC insured up to $250,000.
To learn more about the partnership and how to download the Kidfund app, please visit: https://www.kidfund.us/cee-partnership.
While standardized tests in our nation’s schools address the topics that we would most expect – math concepts, reading comprehension – what they fail to cover are the real-world skills that students need to be successful after graduation.
Since its creation just after World War II, CEE’s mission has been to equip K-12 teachers with the tools they need to create a strong financial education foundation for their students. “We provide professional development and resources for teachers,” said Nan Morrison, President and CEO of CEE. “The resources range from lesson plans for the classroom, interactive activities, games, an assessment center, and videos.” Most of these resources you can find on CEE’s online teacher portal, EconEdLink, which accrues over 1.2 million sessions each year, or you’ll find them in one of CEE’s in-person professional development workshops.
Whether its through EconEdLink, or in-person professional development workshops, webinars or student competitions, CEE has the resources to meet teachers where they are with what they need.
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.