Financial Literacy Education Gains Momentum As New States Adopt Council for Economic Education's National Standards

Share Article

Council for Economic Education Kicks Off Financial Literacy Month with Push for Advocacy, New Resources for Assessment and Education

News Image
Increased momentum may signal that the tide has at last started to turn in the right direction—and just in time for Financial Literacy Month.

Over the past 12 months, four states—and counting—have adopted the Council for Economic Education’s National Standards for Financial Literacy. This follows a period of slow to no growth as shown in CEE’s 2014 Survey of the States, which found that a majority of states do not require that students receive education in economics or personal finance.

What’s more, a recent groundbreaking study by the Center for Financial Security found that young adults from Georgia, Idaho and Texas, states with relatively rigorous financial literacy requirements, had higher credit scores and fewer credit delinquencies than students in neighboring states without a financial education requirement.

This increased momentum may signal that the tide has at last started to turn in the right direction—and just in time for Financial Literacy Month.

As part of their ongoing efforts to promote financial literacy, CEE has launched a number of new initiatives in advocacy, assessment, and education. Here are just a few of the highlights; and tune into the CEE Blog throughout the month of April for insights from guest bloggers including Richard Cordray (Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), David Wessel (Director, Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Brookings) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA).

States Adopt CEE’s National Standards for Financial Literacy

Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma, and most recently, Rhode Island, took a major step forward in advancing financial literacy, voting to accept the Council for Economic Education’s National Standards for Financial Literacy as the basis for financial literacy education in their states. The National Standards outline the knowledge students need to understand how their personal situations and preferences affect their financial decision-making, while emphasizing the trade-offs inherent in every choice they make. The Standards offer benchmarks at the 4th, 8th and 12th grade levels, key to measuring student performance and progress.

“Improving financial literacy is a positive first step when it comes to putting students on the path to a financially secure future. I applaud the Council for Economic Education and state education officials for working together to boost financial literacy education in our schools,” said Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), who chairs the U.S. Senate Financial Literacy Caucus.

New Resource for Student Assessment

Recognizing the value of assessment to financial literacy education, CEE and PwC US have partnered to launch a free resource for K-12 educators – the Online Assessment Center – to help assess and strengthen the impact and effectiveness of financial and economic literacy education in their classrooms. The tool consists of assessments in financial literacy and economics that teachers can use to benchmark their students’ performance against other students nationwide and orient teachers’ approach to teaching this content. Through the tool, teachers can administer the tests online, track student and class progress in real-time, and ultimately improve the level of financial capability among their students. As more and more teachers use the Online Assessment Center, CEE and PwC will be able to use aggregated data to identify trends, address areas where students are struggling, and eventually improve teacher training and resources.

Being able to document the results of financial literacy efforts is critical to determining its effectiveness and long-term benefits. The Online Assessment Center will provide the information with which to carry out future studies.

Math in the Real World

Math is a natural outlet through which to help students understand economic and financial literacy concepts, and yet these subjects are rarely taught in conjunction. CEE bridges that gap with a new online resource for high school teachers. With the support of sponsors Verizon, Moody’s and the Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation, CEE has developed Math in the Real World as a free and convenient tool to integrate math with economics and personal finance.

Part of EconEdLink, CEE’s free online teacher resource portal, Math in the Real World contains interdisciplinary lessons aimed at teaching personal finance and economic concepts in a mathematical context, ranging from “Break-Even Analysis” and “Profit Maximization” to payday loans and building good credit. Math in the Real World lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in math and CEE’s national standards in personal finance and economics, and include activities, simulations and other tools that use current technology to promote active learning.

“As a former math major in college, I am excited that we can bring practical real-life lessons into the classroom to engage kids in three of my favorite subjects,” said Nan J. Morrison, CEO and President of CEE. “Integrating math with economics and personal finance, Math in the Real World’s lessons offer an effective way for high school teachers to cover a wide range of skills and concepts.”

About the Council for Economic Education

The Council for Economic Education is the leading organization in the United States that focuses on the economic and financial education of students from kindergarten through high school - and we have been doing so for over 65 years. We carry out our mission by educating the educators: providing the curriculum tools, the pedagogical support, and the community of peers that instruct, inspire, and guide. All resources and programs are developed by educators, and delivered by our national network of affiliates. Our goal is to reach and teach every child. Each year CEE’s programs reach more than 55,000 K-12 teachers and over 5 million students across the United States. For further information about the Council for Economic Education go to:

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Alicia Sellitti
Visit website