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The Current State of Economics and Financial Education in Wisconsin


Implementing the Standards The DPI sends weak and confusing signals. Economic standards are not emphasized by school districts. Weak testing of economics ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Current State of Economics and Financial Education in Wisconsin

(No Transcript)
The Current State of Economic and Financial
Education in Wisconsins Schools
  • Scott Niederjohn, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Economics and Business
  • Director, Center for Economic Education
  • Lakeland College

  • The problem of economic and financial illiteracy
  • What does the state of Wisconsin say about
    economic and financial education? What about
    other states?
  • How well are students learning?
  • Wisconsin teacher training
  • Resources for teachers
  • The conference
  • Questions

The Problem of Economic and Financial Illiteracy
Former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt
  • The American economy is the eighth wonder of the
  • The ninth is the economic ignorance of the
    American people.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan
  • To be uninformed about markets and financial
    management has practical consequences for
    individuals, especially today when consumers face
    an increasingly complex array of new financial
    services and products about which they must make
    wise choices.

Increasing Consumer Responsibilities
  • Over 92 of pensions today are defined
    contribution plans, not defined benefit plans.
  • The Internet has increased the number of
    financial services offered to consumers.

(No Transcript)
Unbanked Households (Federal Reserve Bank of
  • About 10 million households are unbanked.
  • Over 57 of unbanked households are minority
  • About 37 of African American households are
    unbanked- they have no checking or savings

Have You Seen Places Like This?
Non-Mainstream Financial Services
  • Unbanked households depend on
  • Check-cashing outlets
  • Short-term lenders Payday loans
  • Pawnshops
  • Rent-to-own stores
  • Unbanked families pay higher fees for using these
    financial services and face higher risk losses
    due to dealing in cash.

High School Students
  • Most 18-year olds can obtain credit cards in
    their own name.
  • Credit card companies have become more aggressive
    at marketing to young people.

College Students
  • More students quit college because of financial
    problems than academic failure.
  • Students receive an average of 8 credit card
    offers their first week in college.
  • More young adults (18 24) filed for bankruptcy
    than graduated from college in 2005!

College Students (GAO 2001)
  • Two-thirds of college students have a credit
    card the average is 3 cards per student.
  • The average credit card debt for students who
    carry a balance is 2,200 to 2,800.
  • In 2001, 100,000 people under age 25 filed
    bankruptcy, 6.9 of all bankruptcies, an increase
    of 51, 1991 1999

Problems in Wisconsin
  • Money and financial problems are the 1 cause of
    divorce in Wisconsin.
  • Leading cause of suicide
  • Wisconsin has experienced a 105 increase in
    bankruptcies since 1990 (cost 500 per resident).

A Major Disconnect Northwestern Mutual and Harris
Interactive Study
  • 8 of 10 people are comfortable
  • with their financial planning and
  • preparation.
  • Most envisioned early retirement.
  • 25 no monthly savings for long-term, 50 do not
    pay off monthly credit card bills, 6 dont make
    maximum contribution to 401(k).

When Should We Start?
  • Economics and personal finance are important
  • They should be taught early and often.

  • Parents think students should learn about
    managing money at an early age.

When Should Children Learn About Money? (2004,
  • 60 of parents with oldest
  • child age 5-7 thought that
  • before elementary school,
  • under the age of 5, was
  • the most appropriate age
  • to start teaching children
  • about money.
  • Parents with oldest child
  • age 11-13 thought later in
  • elementary school, 2nd-5th
  • grade, was the most
  • appropriate time (43
  • thought this was the best age).

Adults Do you think basic economics should be
included in high school education, or
not? Students Have you ever been taught
economics in school?
2005 vs. 1999 Fewer students report being
taught economics in school (50 vs. 59)
Q420/540 Base All Respondents
Why the High School Economics Course is Critical
  • Only 63 of high school
  • graduates go to college.
  • Only 40 of college
  • students take even one
  • college course in
  • economics.

Its Hard to Learn What You Are Not Taught
  • Economic and financial education are growing
    national priorities.
  • New Wisconsin Standards
  • Stock market simulations and games are very
  • But young people cant learn financial skills
    unless they are taught explicitly.

What does the State of Wisconsin say about
economic and financial education? What about
other states?
State Law Chapter 118
  • State law is highly specific about some matters
  • Special observance days Mildred Fish Harnack Day
    and Leif Erickson Day
  • First aid kits in schools
  • Appropriate construction of school fences
  • Strip searches
  • Health values of dairy products
  • All school boards are to offer programs of study
  • Basic skills and analytic skills
  • Basic knowledge of math, science, and social
  • Vocational skills
  • Citizenship
  • Personal development

State Law Regarding Citizenship What is Missing?
  • Basic workings of government
  • Commitment of basic values of our government
  • Skills to participate in political life
  • Understanding of organizations of society
  • Knowledge of biological and physical resources
  • Knowledge of state, national, and world history
  1. Appreciation of different values and cultures
  2. Understanding of human relations

DPI Administrative Code Has Rules Regarding Most
  • Reduced class size
  • Alcohol and dug abuse
  • Alternative education
  • Bilingual education
  • Children at risk
  • Driver education
  • Drop outs
  • Education for employment
  • Elementary math and science
  • Environmental education
  • Exceptional education
  • High school graduation requirements
  • Limited-English speaking pupils
  • Minority group pre-college scholarships
  • And more. . .

Wisconsins Model Academic Standards
  • English language arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Citizenship
  • Behavior Sciences

The New Personal Financial Literacy Standards
  • Released in February 2006
  • Available here http//
  • All grade levels
  • School districts in process of implementation
  • Income and education
  • Money management
  • Credit and debt management
  • Planning, saving, and investment
  • Becoming a critical consumer
  • Community and financial responsibility
  • Risk management

How Are Wisconsin Schools Responding to the
Standards and Courses (NCEE, 2007)
  • All 50 states plus the District of Columbia
    include economics in their standards
  • 41 states require that these standards be
    implemented (Wisconsin included)
  • 40 states include personal finance in their
    standards (Wisconsin included)
  • 17 states require students to take an economics
    course for graduation (not Wisconsin)
  • 22 states require testing of economics/personal
    finance (weak economics/no personal finance in

17 States Require Economics in High School (NCEE,
  1. Alabama
  2. California
  3. Florida
  4. Georgia
  5. Idaho
  6. Indiana
  7. Louisiana
  8. Michigan
  9. Mississippi
  10. New Hampshire
  11. New Mexico
  12. New York
  • 13. North Carolina
  • 14. South Carolina
  • 15. South Dakota
  • 16. Tennessee
  • 17. Texas

Wisconsin Enrollments in Selected Courses in the
General Curriculum, Grades 9-12, 2003-2004
General Curriculum Enrollment in Selected Courses Grades 9-12 Number of Student Enrolled
Algebra, Year 1 70,572
Algebra, Year 2 42,857
English Language Arts 180,614
Biology, Year 1 82,422
U.S. History, Year 1 and 2 71,437
Spanish 1 37,567
Concert band 39,623
Economics 22,403
Economics and Government Requirements in
Wisconsin School Districts
Required Course Number of School Districts Contacted with High Schools
Economics 62 (17)
Government 263 (70)
Implementing the Standards
  • The DPI sends weak and confusing signals.
  • Economic standards are
  • not emphasized by school
  • districts.
  • Weak testing of economics
  • Certification rules hamper
  • teaching personal finance
  • and economics.

How Well Are Students Learning?
Test of Economic Literacy, 2005
  • Harris Interactive and
  • National Council on
  • Economic Education
  • (NCEE)
  • 3,500 adults, 2,500
  • students
  • Adults 70 C
  • Students 53 F
  • 6 in 10 students and 1
  • in 4 adults received an F

TEL Results The Good News
  • 97 of adults and 93
  • of students believe it is
  • important for Americans
  • to have a good
  • understanding of
  • economics.
  • Students that have taken a HS economics course
    did better (66) than those that had not (53)
    Education seems to help!

NAEP Results, 2006
  • National Assessment of Educational Progress
    Americas Report Card
  • Economics was included in the NAEP for the first
    time in 2006 (again in 2012)
  • Market economy, national economy, international
  • 11,500 12th grade students at 590 schools
  • 79 of students performed at the basic level or
  • 42 of students performed at the proficient level
    or above.
  • 3 of students performed at the advanced level.
  • NCEE Goal 100 at basic 50 at advanced

Jumpstart Questionnaire
  • Mean Score, 1997 57.3
  • Mean Score, 2000 51.9
  • Mean Score, 2002 50.2
  • Mean Score, 2004 52.3
  • WI Mean Score, 2002 58.8
  • WI Mean Score 2004 54.7

Wisconsin Schools of Education
Teacher Training
  • Requirements for financial and economic education
    in teacher education are absent or ineffective.
  • Teachers are not required to know how our
    economic and financial systems work.
  • Results of a recent transcript study are

Percent of Economics and Business Courses by
UW-Madison Graduates in Education
No Courses in Business or Economics One Course in Business or Economics Two Courses in Business or Economics Three courses in Business or Economics
Elementary Education Majors (N132) 81 14 4 2
Broad Field Social Studies Majors (N50) 72 16 4 4
Resources for Teachers We Can Help!
National Council on Economic Education (NCEE)
  • Mission To ensure the effective teaching of
    real-life skills all people need to succeed.
  • Method Teach school teachers how to make the
    basic, practical principles of economics and
    personal finance come alive in the classroom and
    equip teachers with excellent, standards-based
    curriculum and materials.
  • http//
  • Curriculum, advocacy, research
  • Curriculum catalog in your folder
  • Some in todays sessions
  • EconEDLink
  • http//

A great resource Virtual Economics
  • CD with all NCEE materials
  • and lessons including
  • multimedia content
  • Correlated to state standards
  • Links to online lessons
  • Glossary
  • Search engine

  • http//
  • Our state council on economic education
  • Stock Market Simulation
  • Commodities Market Simulation
  • Teacher awards
  • Economics Challenge
  • Youth Enterprise Academy
  • Support for Wisconsin Centers for Economic

Centers for Economic Education
  • Deliver programs
  • Library of materials
  • Stock Market Simulation
  • For-credit courses for teachers
  • Non-credit courses for teachers
  • Online credit courses
  • Teacher Awards and Honors
  • UW-Milwaukee
  • UW-Oshkosh
  • UW-Whitewater
  • UW-River Falls
  • UW-Stevens Point
  • UW-Parkside
  • Edgewood College
  • Lakeland College

Upcoming Wisconsin Events
  • October 1 November 9 Fall online course
  • October 1 December 7 Stock Market Simulation
    and Commodities Market Simulation
  • October 1 April 11 Million Dollar Challenge
  • December 5 Teaching the Ethical Foundations of
    Economics (UW-Milwaukee Center at MKE art museum)
  • February 4 April 11 Stock Market Simulation
    and Commodities Market Simulation
  • Spring 2008 Spring online course session (Basic
    Economics Concepts and Issues Money and Banking
    Economics of Sports)
  • TBA Environmental Economics UW-Parkside

Money Smart Week - Wisconsin
  • Chicago Fed/Wisconsin Department of Financial
  • http//
  • Governor Doyle October 7 13 Money Smart Week
    in Wisconsin
  • Programs for adults and kids in Dane County, Eau
    Claire Area, Fond du Lac County, Fox Cities Area,
    Green Bay Area, La Crosse County, Manitowoc
    County, Milwaukee Area, Sheboygan County, Spooner
    Area, Wausau Area and West Bend.
  • Essay contest and activities for schools

Whats in your folders?
  • Conference program
  • Wisconsin Stock Market Simulation brochure
  • NCEE catalog
  • EconomicsWisconsin online course brochure
  • Fall 2007 EconomicsWisconsin newsletter
  • Global Association of Teachers of Economics
    (GATE) brochure
  • EconomicsWisconsin brochure

Todays Agenda
  • Session 1 1015 AM 1115 AM
  • Session 2 1130 AM 1230 PM
  • Lunch 1230 PM to 145 PM
  • North Balcony
  • Special guests
  • Mr. Bob Harlan Chairman of the Board
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Ms. Dawn Marie Sass Wisconsin State Treasurer
  • Session 3 145 PM 245 PM
  • Wrap-up and Evaluations 300 PM 315 PM
  • Lambeau Field Tours 330 PM

Session 1 1015 AM to 1115 AM
  • An Introduction to Financial Fitness for Life (JB
    Room, Curriculum, All grade levels) Dr. David
  • Implementing the Wisconsin Model Academic
    Standards for Personal Financial Literacy (WD
    Room, All grade levels) Ms. Beth Ratway
  • Understanding Credit Scores and Reports (PH Room,
    Middle/High) Ms. Lisa Arneson
  • Meet Penny the Pig (BS Room, Elem) Mr. Ken King
  • Teaching Economics in U.S. History (MVP Box,
    Middle/High) Prof. Tim ODriscoll

Session 2 1130 AM to 1230 PM
  1. Teaching Economics with ABC News Video Clips (JB
    Room, Curriculum, Middle/High) Dr. Scott
  2. 10 Rules of Wealth Building All Teachers Should
    Know (WD Room, All grade levels) Dr. Norman
  3. Understanding Credit Scores and Reports (PH Room,
    Middle/High) Ms. Lisa Arneson
  4. Meet Penny the Pig (BS Room, Elem) Mr. Ken King
  5. Using JA in the Classroom To Meet Financial
    Literacy (MVP Box, All grade levels) Ms. Meg

Session 3 145 PM to 245 PM
  • Numbers About the Economy That All Teachers
    Should Know (JB Room, All grade levels) Prof.
    Tim ODriscoll
  • Implementing the Wisconsin Model Academic
    Standards for Personal Financial Literacy (WD
    Room, All grade levels) Ms. Beth Ratway
  • Roundtable of Financial Experts Teaching Kids
    About Money at Any Age (PH Room, All grade
    levels) Ms. Lisa Arneson, Mr. Ken King, Mr. Jim
    Maxon, Mr. Scott Folson, Mr. John Allen
  • Using the Stock Market in Your Classroom (BS
    Room, High) Mr. James Boyd
  • All About Mutual Funds (MVP Box, All grade
    levels) Prof. James Kudek