Schools in the News

Nov 03, 2014
Personal Finance, Financial Literacy, Schools In News
  • Lisa Bender, personal finance teacher at Southern Garrett High School (Oakland, MD) embeds technology into her lessons stemming from a $41,000 grant (see video here:  USA Today Monday Money):

I loved this comment from a student in the video:  For so many classes in high school, you say “When am I going to use it?”  What we learn in here, everyone is going to use.  It is real applicable to whatever we do in life.”

  • In New Haven, CT recently educators got together to discuss best practices at developing students’ financial capability (Press Release).  Here is how one educator summed it up:

“One of our district’s core beliefs is that our schools should be impacting the community. Producing graduates who are credit wise borrowers, disciplined savers and savvy investors will result in both personal financial security and a healthy local economy,” said attendee and presenter Jerry Lozier, economics instructor at Duncanville High School. “I have found that our students rank personal financial literacy and smart money management as the most important skills they need to acquire for future successes in the ‘real world.’ This event introduced me to an entire network of individuals committed to helping students learn these necessary and relevant skills.”

  • Educator at New Rochelle High School, Darren Gurney, receives award for incorporating financial literacy into his economics lessons (New Rochelle Talk)

Darren Gurney teaches his New Rochelle High School students about incentives, inflation, business formation, consequences of debt, and other microeconomic concepts using a monetary system he created called the “Gurney Greenback Exchange”. His students can earn Greenbacks in a variety of ways- by helping others, contributing to class discussion, even starting an in-class business.

  • Columnist asks key question regarding personal finance education which is often overlooked as more states require such a course for graduation (The Free Weekly):

The problem about all of this is, if public schools are required to teach a course in financial literacy, will the teacher be qualified to give their students a balanced and useful financial education? For this plan to work, school boards would either need to provide training, contract professionals, or hire finance degree holding teachers.  This would need to be monitored closely and executed well, which unfortunately may end up being a tall order for some schools.

Perhaps the teacher acts as facilitator for the class and brings in members of the community to talk about their own experiences with finance? This way students could have the opportunity to learn from several different sources and build their own philosophy based on the information received.

  • Two Nansemond River High School (Suffolk, VA) economics and personal finance teachers were recently honored for strong results in the classroom (Suffolk News Herald):

Bartholomew is in just his second year of teaching after a long Navy career. “On average, I would say they don’t come with much,” he said of his students’ knowledge of financial matters.  Most of his students, he said, are juniors, and many of them have yet to experience that first job.

“They haven’t had the experience of earning an income, paying their own way, dealing with tax forms,” Bartholomew said. “Their experience is pretty shallow, unless they come from a home that really exposes them to it.”

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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