Kids will soon get taught not just math, but financial savvy – that’s the hope, anyway.
The Council for Economic Education has consulted educators and come up with some benchmarks for different grade levels, and they plan to pitch them state by state.
The lessons cover topics like income through rent, stocks dividends and interest; planning purchases, comparison shopping and budgeting; short-term and long-term saving; using credit; picking investments; and insurance.
The group hopes the lessons can be incorporated into existing classes, not wedged into a separate elective course. The standards don’t focus on rules of thumb, instead aiming to teach critical thinking. So instead of a rule saying you have to save X percent of your income, there’s an explanation that saving X will make it this much easier to achieve Y later.
Of course, teachers may need to be taught this stuff first. According to The Fiscal Times, a recent online survey conducted by the U.S. Treasury Department found only 15 percent of 30,000 Americans could pass a basic financial literacy test.
The same article says just 14 states have a personal finance class requirement, and only 22 require economics. Because you’re going to quote Shakespeare the rest of your life, and you’ll never need to know about interest rates. (This coming from an English major.)