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At least someone is doing something
Old 04-12-2007, 07:15 AM   #1
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At least someone is doing something

http://www.cnn.com/2007/EDUCATION/04...ney/index.html

Although college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT test a student's ability to understand algebraic equations, they don't test what many consider the practical side of math: comparing prices, computing interest and balancing checkbooks. Some educators argue there's no time to devote to personal finance in the classroom.

http://www.jumpstart.org/

Edit to add a link to Jump Start.
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Re: At least someone is doing something
Old 04-12-2007, 08:07 AM   #2
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Re: At least someone is doing something

maybe it is time to bring back home economics
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Re: At least someone is doing something
Old 04-12-2007, 08:36 AM   #3
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Re: At least someone is doing something

I think many states have a course where all the misc state mandated stuff gets taught. In our Californa school district it was the "State Requirement Course." It was approx 80% Driver Ed, but had some first aid thrown in, too. I'd be in favor of some financial literacy education and some other personal survival skills. In the animal kingdom (and in previous generations in the US) these things wwere taught by parents--that's still the best way, but if we have committed as a society to collectively support peiople who are financialy destitute, then we collectively have an interest in trying to keep them out of this situation. Kinda like helmet laws: I've got no issue with an adut deciding his head isn't worth protecting, but when I'm expected to support him in a vegetative state for 20 years, now I have legitimate cause to tell him to put on a helmet.

Newguy888: What have you seen in HS along this line of instruction?
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Re: At least someone is doing something
Old 04-12-2007, 08:39 AM   #4
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Re: At least someone is doing something

About Bloody time.
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Re: At least someone is doing something
Old 04-12-2007, 09:43 AM   #5
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Re: At least someone is doing something

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
What have you seen in HS along this line of instruction?
Here in NC they teach a course called "Economic, legal, and political systems" (called "ELP"). Used to be 9th grade, my understanding from talking to local HS teacher buddies is it's 10th grade material (the students are more mature and able to understand it at that grade level : ). The econ part covers basic economics (supply/demand curves, principals) and other "money" issues. My class, about 10 years ago, covered things like banking (how to balance a checkbook), taxes (filling in the form 1040 or 1040EZ by hand and reading the 1040 instruction manual), the stock market - model portfolio challenge and actually buying one real stock, etc. I don't really know how much of this stuff sunk in though.

ELP was a requirement for all students.
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Re: At least someone is doing something
Old 04-12-2007, 10:18 AM   #6
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Re: At least someone is doing something

I'd say that with just one single week of instruction, you could get the most important stuff across:

Reconciling your checkbook and avoiding overdraft fees
The power of compounding and Saving for Retirement
The dangers of credit cards
LBYM
Rent vs. Buy
True cost of loans
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Re: At least someone is doing something
Old 04-12-2007, 11:12 AM   #7
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Re: At least someone is doing something

Junior Achievement has been teaching young people about personal finance topics since 1919. They have programs geared for students in every grade from Kindergarten to 12th grade, all age appropriate, that teach everything from the differences between "needs and wants", how to manage a checking account, credit card scams, to international monetary and global trade policy.

All of the programs are taught by trained volunteers, in the classroom, at the invitation of the classroom teacher. JA is available throughout the US and in more than 100 countries around the world -- and the programs are made available to students at no cost to them. In my community, JA is able to provide its programs at a cost of about $25 per student, all paid for by contributions from companies, foundations and individuals.

BTW, JA did a survey a few years ago to determine teachers' level of knowledge about economic issues. Sadly, very few teachers know much about financial literacy...it's not taught in school and unfortunately, it's generally not taught at home either.

If you'd like more info, go to www.ja.org
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Re: At least someone is doing something
Old 04-12-2007, 11:17 AM   #8
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Re: At least someone is doing something

In 2nd grade, I was taught how to write checks.

But my entire financial knowledge foundation was from my Dad, and then from subsequent reading.

I don't think the problem is the schools failing to teach finance, but rather, the parents not making it applicable and important in a child's life.

There's tons of ways to teach our children about finance that doesn't require a classroom, and will be far more effective than lectures and exercises in a classroom.
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Re: At least someone is doing something
Old 04-12-2007, 04:20 PM   #9
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Re: At least someone is doing something

I think this forum would be surprised at how little teachers know about personal finance. At the public high school in my area, a personal finance course is offered but very few (about 1%) take the course. The teacher of the course is not trained in finance. Parents should be aware and teach their kids.
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Re: At least someone is doing something
Old 04-13-2007, 11:00 AM   #10
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Re: At least someone is doing something

I seem to remember at some point in high school the boys had to take Home Economics for a few weeks and the girls had to take "shop." I wasn't looking forward to it and could have cared less how to sew a hem or bake muffins, but there was a chapter on savings and finance and take-home pay. The teacher breezed over it, but I read the whole thing in the text book with a lot of interest. It was probably the firrst time I'd thought about earning money and saving.

That interest has served me very well now - 20 years later - but wow, I wish there was more of that kind of practical teaching going on.
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Re: At least someone is doing something
Old 04-13-2007, 11:10 AM   #11
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Re: At least someone is doing something

Quote:
Originally Posted by tricky88
I seem to remember at some point in high school the boys had to take Home Economics for a few weeks and the girls had to take "shop." I wasn't looking forward to it and could have cared less how to sew a hem or bake muffins, but there was a chapter on savings and finance and take-home pay. The teacher breezed over it, but I read the whole thing in the text book with a lot of interest. It was probably the firrst time I'd thought about earning money and saving.

That interest has served me very well now - 20 years later - but wow, I wish there was more of that kind of practical teaching going on.
I took home-ec too. Was a good way to hang out with the young ladies.
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Re: At least someone is doing something
Old 04-13-2007, 04:29 PM   #12
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Re: At least someone is doing something

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mwsinron
I took home-ec too. Was a good way to hang out with the young ladies.
I learned how to sew on buttons in home ec -- that has come in handy many times.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:49 PM   #13
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I am resurrecting this old thread because it relates to something I am really thankful for during this past year. A colleague of mine retired this last year and approached me about replacing him as our Junior Achievement coordinator in our office. I was not a "JA kid" - nor did I know much about the program, but I tentatively agreed out of respect for him.

What a great program! I have really enjoyed being a part of the organization and truly believe in their goal in teaching kids of all ages about financial literacy, how business works, and entrepreneurship. JA is involved in our area at the elementary, middle school, and high school level. All of the classes I have volunteered to lead have had really good program materials - and only needed someone with general business knowledge to lead and facilitate. On the elementary level the classes teach kids about business in the community they live, basics about balancing a checkbook, and what businesses have to do to be successful and profitable. At the higher levels they discuss the purpose of insurance, building a budget, compound interest, and taxes.

If you are reading this - then my guess is that you have a natural affinity for fiscal responsibility. Regardless of your political leanings, I think we can all agree that financial literacy is something we have always lacked with our young people. Let me please recommend you ask about your local JA program. I promise they are probably in huge need of business-minded volunteers. I really think this is an opportunity to make a difference and give our teachers a break from "the usual".
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