Economics

Graduating From Test Scores to Credit Scores

DSC6347Brian Page 8x10 hi res for print 150x150 Graduating From Test Scores to Credit Scores

Written by: Brian Page, Chair, Council for Economic Education Teacher Advisory Council

Later this spring, high schools across the country will be graduating students from a world of test scores to a world of credit scores. Many teens will unknowingly be making decisions that will impact them in the decade to come. Yet most lawmakers have fallen short of respecting personal finance as a dedicated subject worthy of stand alone classes required for graduation, taught by teachers trained to teach it well. It’s time we work together to advocate on behalf of high school students to prepare them for the real world.

High school science, math and language arts teachers receive content specific instruction in college, and are required to pass content specific tests to earn teacher certification. Personal finance… not so much. Often times when mandates are passed, they require the integration of personal finance into other coursework. The mandate is often dumped into the laps of teachers who have never been trained to teach personal finance.

A FINRA Investor Education Foundation-funded study, State Financial Education Mandates: It’s All in the Implementation, examined the effectiveness of state mandates on financial education for high-school students. The study noted that if a rigorous financial education program is carefully implemented, it can improve the credit scores and lower the probability of credit delinquency for young adults. In other words, we need to train our teachers, require semester courses devoted to personal finance, and use hands on teaching methods that focus on relevant content.

NCLB aside, our country has historically been a locally controlled education system. This changed following the financial collapse in 2008. Somehow a banking collapse led to education “reform”, and schools were faced with a multitude of new evaluation systems and testing requirements. Subsequently, schools and lawmakers now seem to lack the appetite to pass further education mandates. This should not preclude us from trying, using a common sense approach that does not further burden our schools. I’m confident that if asked, parents and teens would be much happier about recent reform efforts if standardized test scores were a little less important, and helping them build their own credit scores were a little more important.

POSTED: April 7, 2016 | BY: April Somboun | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , ,

CEE Teams Up with BloomBoard

“There are so many resources out there on how to teach and what materials to use. How do I narrow it down to get the best of what I need?”

 

If these thoughts resonate with you, then you definitely have to bookmark BloomBoard.  The educators at BloomBoard know that curation of relevant content is one of the most valuable services one can offer on the Internet.

Starting this month, BloomBoard has invited the Council for Economic Education (CEE) along with other experienced educators to create Collections of resources targeted to specific teaching objectives. As the leader of a national movement to bring economics education and financial literacy to every child, we know how to tackle the challenges involved in teaching these subjects to children in grades K-12.

For our debut Collection on BloomBoard, we decided to focus on teaching financial literacy to young learners in kindergarten through fifth grade. There’s good reason to start teaching finance early. Researchers have found that when elementary students study financial literacy, they develop more positive financial attitudes and behaviors such as saving that will continue throughout their lives.

Our Collection recommends teaching financial literacy with a wide range of resources including lesson plans, activities, songs, videos, professional development, and research.

Capture CEE Teams Up with BloomBoard

 

Here are some of the resources that we recommend in this Collection:

Getting Started: EconEdLinkJoin thousands of K-5 teachers successfully using these lessons to teach concepts such as the cost of choosing between “this and that” and how scarcity influences their world to young learners.

Kiddynomics: An Economics Curriculum for Young Learners Federal Reserve Bank of St LouisKiddynomics introduces young children to economic thinking with five lessons based on popular storybooks.

Playful Economics: Scarcity, EconEdLinkAward-winning 5th-grade teacher, Shanan Reigle, shows how she teaches scarcity in this instructional video. Students move from creating products with play dough to tweeting about their new understanding.

Creating a Classroom Economy Unit Plan by Beth Newingham, ScholasticStudents build a class economy replete with specific jobs, salaries, and currency. As class citizens, they must manage their money, using credits, debits, and checks.

Visitors to Bloomboard can save, share, and follow Collections. They will also be able to earn micro-credentials for their skills.

We would also like to introduce Buck Institute for Education (BIE) who posted the Collection, Gold Standard Project Based Learning: An Overview, on BloomBoard following ours. BIE creates, gathers, and shares high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL) instructional practices and products and provides highly effective services to teachers, schools, and districts.showing teachers how to use Project Based Learning in all grade levels and subject areas. Their comprehensive overview will help teachers get started with PBL.

We hope you will take a look at BIE’s Collection as well as others on BloomBoard. And, join us on BloomBoard in using and providing content that is relevant for our teachers today.

POSTED: February 17, 2016 | BY: April Somboun | TAGS: , , , , , ,

Effective Professional Development via CEE’s State Council and Centers

By: Marc A. JohnsonEducation Program Director, Colorado Council for Economic Education

Professional development (PD) for teachers has sometimes been characterized as unappreciated and ineffective. Those of us who have taught long enough can certainly recall mandated PD experiences that were less than engaging, uninspiring and downright tedious.

But it’s unfair to apply that broad brush to all PD. In our experience, both as recipients and deliverers of workshops and seminars from our respective state councils for economic education, PD can be stimulating and rewarding for teachers and have a strong chance of leading to greater student achievement.

Among the deliverers of PD in economics and/or personal finance, state councils and centers seem to be best suited to provide the best opportunities for teachers. The model varies from state to state, but there are commonalities. Most can boast a stable of credible academics whose guidance can be relied on by teachers – they can take this stuff back into their classrooms with great confidence in the integrity of the message. Second, most workshops help teachers with the pedagogy. Classes/workshops are generally infused with exemplary demonstrations of methods – often by mentor teachers who show us the best ways to teach this stuff to kids. Finally, most PD from state councils and centers includes excellent resources, often provided from the vast library of carefully developed and well-vetted lessons from the national Council for Economic Education.

It’s this three-tiered construction of PD – expertise, pedagogy and resources – that make targeted, customized PD by centers and councils for economic education well worth their while. Individual teachers, departments, schools and school districts would be well-advised to seek out their state councils/centers and explore the possibilities of participating in high quality, efficacious PD in economics and/or personal finance.

To learn more about your local state councils/centers visit: http://councilforeconed.org/resources/local-affiliates

 

POSTED: February 10, 2016 | BY: April Somboun | TAGS: , , , ,

The 10th Annual Visionary Awards

 

Last night, the Council for Economic Education (CEE) held its 10th Annual Visionary Awards dinner hosting 300 guests at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. The evening showcased CEE’s mission, our impact to date, and honored leaders who promote economic and financial literacy. The evening was a night of thought-provoking discussion, amiable conversation, and intellectual discourse.

2015 visionary award winners with nan and steve The 10th Annual Visionary Awards

The Visionary Awards were given to four leaders who continue to advance our mission. The honorees were Ann Kaplan, Partner, Circle Wealth Management; Robert E. Moritz, U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner PwC; Prof. Robert J. Shiller, Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University; and Andrew Ross Sorkin, Founder of DealBook, Financial Columnist for The New York Times, and CNBC Co-Anchor of “Squawk Box.”

During the evening, attendees enjoyed an entertaining fireside chat with the honorees moderated by the evening’s Master of Ceremonies and CNBC’s chief economist reporter, Steve Liesman. The fireside chat addressed hot topics such as women in the workplace, the housing “bubble,” interest rates, and most importantly, how individuals can make an impact to ensure our youth are given the opportunity to learn about economics and personal finance.

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CEE also honored three exemplary New York Metropolitan area teachers who advance economic education in and out of the classroom. The teachers received the Alfred P. Sloan Teaching Champion Awards for their excellence in economic education. They continually deliver this important content in and out of their classrooms and achieve results. 

The evening raised over $700,000 to support CEE’s programs and help us reach our goals to reach and teach every child in the United States to create a more informed citizenry capable of making better decisions as savers, investors, borrowers, voters, and participants in the global economy.

We would also like to thank those who attended and to our sponsors who helped make this amazing event happen!

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POSTED: October 30, 2015 | BY: Annamarie Cerreta | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , ,

Incorporating Economics in the Elementary School Curriculum

ohagan Incorporating Economics in the Elementary School CurriculumBy Kathleen O’Hagan, Special Representative at the UFT, Former 4th Grade Teacher, 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Teaching Champion Awardee

Today’s public schools are tasked with so much to teach that it isn’t surprising that many essential skills are over-looked with the current focus on reading and math scores and standardized tests. What is often missed in this narrow focus is the impact that these other essential skills can have on reading and math instruction. The curriculum in the elementary school where I taught was of both high rigor and high caliber but it neglected economics to concentrate on reading and math. With this in mind, I recognized the need to bring this subject to our students, the majority of whom were English Language Learners (ELLs) or former ELLs. After the economy was hit hard in 2008, I wanted my students to learn more about saving for their futures and the many long-term benefits, versus the costs, of college but I didn’t know how to bring this instruction into my elementary classroom.

OHagan in the Classroom1 300x167 Incorporating Economics in the Elementary School CurriculumThe Council for Economic Education showed me how to incorporate these ideas into my classroom. It began when I took their course on how to create a mini-economy. With this training, I was able to make our class a place where students learned (as part of their math curriculum) how to keep bank accounts, act as bankers and store clerks, open pencil-loaning businesses, and also experience the real-life issues of rent, tickets, co-payments, unexpected expenses and price inflation. Then in the next year, my next class moved beyond just being consumers in a mini-economy to being producers by utilizing a three-dimensional printer to create the store stock and in the process began to investigate the issues of supply and demand in their mini-economy. Imagine their excitement when they were featured in an article about their mini-economy, not just the first class, but two classes, two years in a row! Talk about underscoring the importance of the economics they were learning!

Not surprisingly, the students’ reaction to this instruction was enthusiastic and they were utterly engaged. What was surprising was the powerful response from the parents who were delighted to have their students learning economic vocabulary such as deposit, withdrawal, expenses, goods, consumer, etc. and the real-life experiences of keeping a financial log and having to learn about delayed gratification if they wanted to save up their money for larger purchases in the future.

In addition to all of this economic instruction, we eventually added the element of debate, around economic topics which included: “Should the Penny Stick Around?” and in so doing, incorporated elements of reading and writing. My students learned the importance of research, interviews, and public speaking in addition to developing an understanding of the need to save for the future, but not just any future, THEIR future. The mini-economy was a success at getting even the most reluctant student out of the sidelines of learning and into the heat of debate. For example, my most reluctant writer would always have his essay ready so that he could be on one side of the debate when it was time to start talking about economic issues.

The mini-economy even outgrew our classroom and spread to other classes on the grade, including inter-visitations for debates. Most importantly, it empowered the students to feel confident about making financial decisions, understanding the importance of saving, and it even made the most reticent students outspoken about the importance of economics in their life. Economics instruction ultimately became embedded in the very math and reading skills that originally seemed to have no room for anything more and in so doing, equipped my students with the traditional skills taught as well as essential economic skills.

POSTED: April 17, 2015 | BY: Annamarie Cerreta | TAGS: , , , , ,

Council for Economic Education Honors Dr. Annamaria Lusardi with 2014 William A. Forbes Public Awareness Award

Financial Literacy Pioneer Recognized for Extraordinary Work to Advance Awareness of Economic and Financial Education

WASHINGTON, DC (January 15, 2014) The Council for Economic Education is delighted to announce that Prof. Annamaria Lusardi of George Washington University (GW) will be honored with the 2014 William A. Forbes Public Awareness Award, recognizing her extraordinary work to advance public awareness of the importance of economic and financial education.

A pioneer in the study of financial literacy, Prof. Lusardi is widely renowned for her Annamaria Lusardi Forbes Award 300x198 Council for Economic Education Honors Dr. Annamaria Lusardi with 2014 William A. Forbes Public Awareness Awardextraordinary contributions to the field. Among her numerous achievements, she designeda measurement of financial literacy that has been used in national surveys around the world, while her theoretical and empirical work has helped to make a compelling case for the cost and consequences of financial illiteracy. She has published many papers and two books on the topic of financial literacy and also edited special issues on financial literacy for the Journal of Pension Economics and Finance andNumeracy.           Read more…

POSTED: January 26, 2015 | BY: John Jones | TAGS: , , , , , , , ,

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