US School Systems Receive Failing Grades for Economic and Financial Literacy Training

Bad School Exam Grade

According to the latest news from CNBC, the number of states that require high school students to complete an economics course has dropped in the past two years. Also, mandates for personal finance education in high school remains stagnant.

Research released to CNBC showed that 20 states presently require that high school students take an economic course. Currently, 16 states require standardized type tests of economic concepts. The Council for Economic Education also discovered that 17 states require high school students take a course in personal finance.

Nan Morrison, who is CEO and President of the Council for Economic Education registered her disappointment in the survey results. She said, “We were disappointed to see that no additional states require courses in personal finance to be taught.”

Over the past two years, Illinois and New York added new standards that include the teaching of personal finance, and Washington has passed legislation that calls for personal finance be taught. However, the state of Wyoming dropped the requirement.

Research shows that financial education varies broadly by state. Some states require that standards be followed as early as primary school while others recommend that high school classes focus on offering personal finance or economics in their curriculum. Still, other states require students to pass financially based courses in order to graduate.

Not surprising – information released this month shows that high school students that have to take personal finance courses have a lower debt delinquency and better credit scores. The information showed notable improvement for the credit outcomes of young people, age 18 to 22 years old in three states in particular – Georgia, Texas, and Idaho. In these states, financial education mandates are deemed “rigorous” by the Council for Economic Education.

In fact, Idaho requires students to finish at least six months of a standardized course in personal finance while Texas includes student testing. Georgia requires that their teachers be trained in personal finance as well.