Economic, Financial Education Gains Ground in States, Report Shows

March 08, 2005 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

More states are requiring school districts to offer personal-finance courses to high school students and to put in place standards for economic literacy and education, concludes a nationwide survey released last week by the National Council on Economic Education.

“There is a general public awareness now—that is greater than ever before—of the importance of including personal economic education in the education of our young people,” said Robert F. Duvall, the president of the New York City-based organization, which advocates education designed to help students become more knowledgeable consumers.

“That’s why states are including more economics requirements in their standards and doing testing and assessments,” Mr. Duvall said.

The “Survey of the States” is available online from the National Council on Economic Education. ()

The report—which was released in Washington during a national summit on economic and financial literacy, sponsored by the NCEE—says that 49 states and the District of Columbia now include economics in their academic standards, up from 38 in 1998. In addition, at least 17 states now require that an economics course be offered in high school, up from 16 in 2000.

The survey—which polled the leaders of state councils on economic education and state-level social studies education specialists—also found that the number of states with personal-finance-education standards in place rose from 31 to 38 over the past two years, and that schools in seven states now require that high school students take at least one personal-finance course in order to graduate.

A Place in the Curriculum

But while the report shows that progress is being made, Mr. Duvall believes that economic and personal-finance education needs to be fully integrated into the school curriculum to be completely successful.

See Also

Read the another business story in this issue,

Builder of Modular Schools Closes; Projects Stalled

“Too many people think economics is what they do at MIT, and [that it’s not about] making practical decisions in their lives,” he said in an interview, noting that personal bankruptcy and credit card debt are growing problems.

Mr. Duvall estimates that fewer than 20 percent of today’s high school students graduate with the basic skills and knowledge needed to make economic and personal financial decisions.

Still, some educators and policymakers argue that personal finance and economics should be taught in college instead of burdening an already overloaded K-12 curriculum.

But Mr. Duvall countered that taking that approach would leave a large percentage of high school graduates without proper financial skills, because many graduates do not attend college. Plus, he said, college-level economics courses tend to focus more on theory than real-life situations.

“We need to get this into the curriculum before students leave high school,” Mr. Duvall said. “Economic and financial literacy are learned behaviors. You’re either going to learn them from teachers or the hard way—from the school of hard knocks.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the March 09, 2005 edition of Education Week as Economic, Financial Education Gains Ground in States, Report Shows


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School Climate & Safety Webinar
Praise for Improvement: Supporting Student Behavior through Positive Feedback and Interventions
Discover how PBIS teams and educators use evidence-based practices for student success.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
IT Management Webinar
Build a Digitally Responsive Educational Organization for Effective Digital-Age Learning
Chart a guided pathway to digital agility and build support for your organization’s mission and vision through dialogue and collaboration.
Content provided by Bluum
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Data Webinar
Drive Instruction With Mastery-Based Assessment
Deliver the right data at the right time—in the right format—and empower better decisions.
Content provided by Instructure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Curriculum Florida's Math Textbook Brouhaha: Your Questions Answered
Florida rejected several math textbooks for 'indoctrination.' But what do we really know about them—and what happens next for districts?
9 min read
Conceptual Illustration of a chalkboard with math equations, where many are blacked out and unreadable
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and E+/Getty
Curriculum How Prevalent Are Book Bans This Year? New Data Show Impact
Two million students in 86 school districts have had access to books restricted due to book bans, according to a report by PEN America.
4 min read
Image of library shelves.
VTT Studio/iStock/Getty
Curriculum Opinion Ignoring Racism in Schools Actually Increases Prejudice
Good intentions aren't enough to address race and racism in schools; good practice is.
Ross Wiener & Francesca López
5 min read
Conceptual Illustration of a hand pointing the way forward over a field of arrows pointing in all directions.
Curriculum Opinion AP Takes a Stand Amid the Raging Curriculum Debates. It’s Worth Emulating
The College Board has made it clear that it won't be cowed by ideologues, and that's heartening.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty