Council for Economic Education Introduces K-12 National Standards for Financial Literacy, New Framework for Teaching Personal Finance in Schools

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National Standards for Financial Literacy Raise the Bar for Financial Literacy Education

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These Standards teach students how to make thoughtful, deliberate choices as consumers, savers, investors and informed citizens.

This week, the Council for Economic Education (CEE) introduces the National Standards for Financial Literacy, a framework for the body of knowledge and skills that should be contained in a K-12 personal finance curriculum. Developed by a team of experienced and talented economists, education specialists at Federal Reserve banks, and financial education researchers, the National Standards for Financial Literacy raise the bar for financial literacy education.

The standards contain the six areas of knowledge and understanding that are fundamental to personal finance: Earning Income; Buying Goods and Services; Using Credit; Saving; Financial Investing; and Protecting and Insuring. Each standard emphasizes decision-making skills by explicitly relating planning and goal setting, financial decision-making, and assessing outcomes to each standard. Through the standards, students learn how their personal situations and preferences affect their financial decision making, while beginning to understand the trade-offs inherent in every choice they make. In the end, more informed choices lead to better choices as well as greater satisfaction with the choices that are made.

Written in accessible, easily understandable terminology, the standards are not tethered to any specific curriculum, do not assume any prior financial knowledge, and are designed to be applicable to all socio-economic groups. These standards provide the basis of student assessment, for curriculum development, and for the development and correlation of personal finance to existing and new lessons and other teaching materials.

“The National Standards for Financial Literacy are vital to preparing our children to successfully navigate through a dizzyingly complex financial world,” said Mark Zandi, economist and co-founder of Moody’s

“These Standards are meant to teach more than just the facts; they are designed to teach students how to make thoughtful, deliberate choices as consumers, savers, investors and informed citizens,” said Nan J. Morrison, President and CEO of the Council for Economic Education. “It’s critically important that these skills take root at the K-12 level—and the earlier the education begins, the better.’”

To further buttress the standards, CEE will design nationally-normed financial literacy assessment tests to provide teachers, researchers and policy makers with data that clearly identifies student understanding of these key concepts. CEE is currently working in collaboration with Jump$tart to gain support for the Standards from the broad financial literacy community.

To download a free copy of the National Standards for Financial Literacy click here.

About the Council for Economic Education

The Council for Economic Education (CEE) is the leading organization in the United States that focuses on the economic and financial education of students from kindergarten through high school. For the past 60 years, our mission has been to instill in young people the fourth “R”—a real-world understanding of economics and personal finance. It is only by acquiring economic and financial literacy that children can learn that there are better options for a life well lived, will be able to see opportunity on their horizon line and, ultimately, can grow into successful and productive adults capable of making informed and responsible decisions.

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Alicia Sellitti
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