District Administration March 2018 - 26

BeyondtheNews

INSTRUCTION

States continue progress on financial literacy
More than half of the states have earned
passing marks for developing financially
literate students, but nearly 30 percent of
states scored a D or worse, according to
the most recent National Report Card
from the Champlain College Center for
Financial Literacy.
The survey assesses state (and Washington, D.C.) efforts to improve financial
literacy in high school students and is
meant to raise awareness about the importance of teaching the subject, says
John Pelletier, director of the center.
"The first thing I say to any superintendent or principal looking at this report card is if you're assuming that financial literacy is being taught in the home,
you're wrong," says Pelletier. "The second
largest financial decision that many students are going to make in their lifetimes
is when they're about 18 and deciding if
they're going to go to college or not. We
need to make sure they understand the
economic consequences."

Making the grade
The center assesses state policy every two
years. Grades range from an A (awarded
to states that require personal finance
instruction equal to a one-semester, halfyear course) to an F (given to states with
no personal finance requirements).
The most recent report, released in
January, shows that states continue to
move in the right direction, says Pelletier.
For a good example of progress, Pelletier points to Alabama, which went from
an F at the end of 2015 to an A this time.
"They went from not requiring anything
to requiring the equivalent of a standalone, one-semester course in personal
finance for all students who graduate,"
he says.
Texas and Virginia also earned A
grades. Texas students must pass an
economics course that includes 15 hours
of personal finance. And all Texas high
schools must offer a standalone personal
finance course.

Students studying personal finance in
Virginia must learn to calculate net cost
of attendance, loan debt and potential
earning when measuring the economic
value of postsecondary studies.
Developing a program
For states and districts that have no financial literacy curriculum and cannot
develop standalone electives, Pelletier
suggests starting by embedding key topics-such as credit and student loans-
into an economics or math class.
States moving toward personalized
learning should consider including personal finance topics, such as understanding credit scores and calculating potential career earnings.
Finally, educators can find free curricula, lesson plans and content at
www.teachfinlit.org.
-Ray Bendici

Financial literacy report card

A

B

C

D

5 states

19 states

12 states

4 states

26 March 2018

F
10 states
+ Washington, D.C.

Source: Champlain College Center for Financial Literacy

District Administration


http://www.teachfinlit.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration March 2018

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