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President's Adivosry Council is working on connecting PFL and Common Core:

From the July meeting minutes:

"We also are doing a deep dive into ways that we can promote the creation of pilots that align common core objectives and basic financial education concepts. In addition we are looking at how the two major consortiums created to assess common core learning's can help support this effort. We are having discussions with several organizations including the American Federation of Teachers as well as the Jump$tart Coalition to look for ways that we can encourage others who share our concern to work together to create opportunity"

Notes from the July PACFL meeting are at:

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/financial-education/Documents/Youth Report.pdf


An Interesting Infographic on Raising Children:  "Costly Kids"

How much does it cost both financially and emotionally to raise a child? This new infographic from EarlyChildhoodEducation.com explores some of the headaches that come with "bundles of joy."  

Check it out at: http://www.millionairecorner.com/article/infographic-costly-kids

Teens Vote Financial Institutions 'Most Unpopular'
How parents can turn cynicism into teachable moments.

Pamela Yellen, Huffington Post  07/27/2012 7:04 pm

It's no surprise. Many adults are wary of banks and credit card companies in the wake of the economic crash and many fear another cataclysm is around the bend. Now a new study shows banks and other financial institutions are losing the popularity contest with teens.

Many youth now view the financial sector as a bully laying in wait to snatch their lunch money through predatory lending tactics and high interest charges. That's the view one gets from reading a national opinion poll of high school students recently commissioned by the University of Arizona's Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research and conducted by The Financial Literacy Group.

"A healthy skepticism about financial institutions has soured into cynicism, where teenagers almost expect to be victimized by financial firms," economists Michael E. Staten and Dan Iannicola Jr. say in an article titled Warm and Fuzzy Financial Ed Doesn't Cut It Anymore.

The poll of 878 students at 18 high schools in 11 states "shows that the majority strongly distrusted financial institutions even while expressing great confidence in other things like their likelihood to find employment and to achieve financial security."

"For example, 60 percent of students polled firmly believe that credit card companies often entice people into taking on more debt that they can handle, while 70 percent believe that businesses try to 'trick' young people into spending more than they should," the article states. "Only 25 percent of students disagreed with the statement, 'the stock market is rigged mostly to benefit greedy Wall Street bankers,' and only 17 percent disagreed with the statement, 'banks are mostly interested in getting my money through hidden fees.'"

The study also found teens lacking in some basic knowledge when it comes to personal finance. For instance, 68 percent did not know that owning stocks is a riskier form of investment than owning government bonds, and more than half didn't know that a high credit score is better than a low score. MORE

PwC and Knowledge@Wharton High School to Co-host Business and Financial Responsibility Training Seminar for 150 High School Educators, All Expenses Paid

Registration Opens Today

PHILADELPHIA, July 30, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Knowledge@Wharton High School (KWHS) and PwC today announced the convening of the PwC-KWHS Seminar for High School Educators on Business and Financial Responsibility. The all-expenses-paid financial literacy conference for 150 educators will be held Sept. 28-30 on the Philadelphia campus of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

"Our goal in creating this conference is to promote financial literacy, entrepreneurship and leadership among high school students, and to provide educators with lessons and skills for their classrooms," said Mukul Pandya, executive director and editor-in-chief of Knowledge@Wharton. "We are thrilled to work with PwC to bring this training seminar to life."

While 13 states mandate personal-finance coursework as a graduation requirement, 35 percent of teens don't know how to write a check and fewer than one-in-five teachers feels prepared to teach financial literacy, according to studies from Charles Schwab and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. More

Shahar Ziv; Huffington Post 7/12/2012

Summer always brings a certain excitement as a new crop of freshly minted college graduates descends upon Manhattan and other cities, ready to take on the world. But while these young adults come armed with diplomas, a new wardrobe, and endless ambition, most lack a solid grasp of what it means to be financially literate. Today's graduates are diving into the real-world financial pool without even the basic strokes of personal finance. As the recent financial crisis has illuminated, not only is the water quite deep, but there are also plenty of sharks and, unfortunately, not as many lifeguards as we would have hoped.

A fundamental shift in risk, most notably in the transition from guaranteed pensions to individual retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, means that the economy that today's graduates enter is structurally different from the one of previous generations. Simultaneously, most Americans, young and old, display a strikingly low level of financial literacy. A 2010 Financial Literacy Survey of adults, conducted on behalf of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Inc., revealed that 34 percent of U.S. adults (over 76 million people) gave themselves a grade of C, D, or F on their knowledge of personal finance. On questions dealing with compound interest, inflation, and risk diversification, studies by Professors Annamaria Lusardi and Olivia Mitchell show significantly low rates of understanding among the general population and specifically among certain demographics including women, African Americans, and Hispanics.

The lack of financial sophistication in the United States has severe consequences. Academic research has found that individuals who are not financially literate are less likely to plan for and accumulate retirement wealth, participate in the stock market, and refinance mortgages during periods of falling rates. More

Closing the Gap in Economic Education: Financial Literacy Begins in the Classroom

Nan J. Morrison, President & CEO, Council for Economic Education

Huffington Post Blog 04/30/2012

Like most young adults fresh out of college, saving for the future wasn't my top priority when I landed my first job. Left to my own devices, I can't say for certain I wouldn't have spent almost every cent of those paychecks, if not for my father reminding me once a week, every week, to contribute to my 401(k). He never missed a call -- and I never missed a payment.

But not everyone is so lucky to have a mentor like I did.

Parents are Lacking in Financial Know-How

If there's one lesson we've learned from the recent recession and its painful fallout, it's that an alarming number of Americans lack the basic dollars-and-cents understanding they need to navigate today's global economy. The gap between what people know and what they need to know is widening every day.

Just consider these stats:

Only 49.7 percent of U.S. adults can define a "budget deficit."

9 million households have neither a checking nor a savings account.

29 percent of Americans have no savings at all.

It would seem that an overwhelming number of American adults are ill-equipped to instruct their children in economics and personal finance. But they're not the only ones.

Teachers and Schools Come up Short on Economic Education

Many teachers are also woefully under-educated when it comes to financial literacy. In a recent survey, 20 percent of teachers stated that they do not feel competent to teach basic personal finance. And those who actually teach economics to high school students have often received minimal college instruction in the subject.

That said, some schools have ramped up financial education requirements in the years since my organization, the Council for Economic Education, has been tracking their progress. In the year 2000, only seven states required a high school personal finance course to be offered; by 2011 that number had doubled to 14. But our most recent Survey of the States shows that in the past two years, that momentum has slowed, and in some cases even come to a halt.

Full Article

Remarks by Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
at the Jump$tart Annual Awards Dinner in Washington, DC on April 18, 2012

Thank you for inviting me tonight. From my work with Jump$tart over the years, I know you to be a leader in improving financial literacy from kindergarten to college. So I am glad to be here with so many who share the same objectives as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

My own history with your organization has been very positive. Back when I served as a county treasurer in Ohio, my primary initiative was to collect more unpaid delinquent property taxes. And let me tell you: That kind of project really makes a person popular! Reflecting back, I can now see how actually doing that hard work brought my team and me face to face with very different categories of people. Some resisted paying their share because they had gotten away with ducking us before. Some would not prioritize payment until they were sure we were serious about pursuing them. But many people were simply "down on their luck," to borrow a quaint but apt phrase – with the adversity consisting of unplanned and unwelcome events such as disease, divorce, job loss, or a death in their family.

People's troubles were often magnified by their incomprehension of financial matters. Difficult situations led to bad decisions. That experience led me to form a local committee on personal finance education. We gathered information about school programs for young people and community programs for adults, such as there were, and looked to match people up with those available resources. Eventually, we became more ambitious and set a goal to pass legislation that would require every student to receive personal finance education before graduating from high school. It is not easy to change anything about the high school curriculum, but we managed to do it, with the help of a broad coalition that included Jump$tart. And what we found next was that there was so much more work to do. By this time, I was serving as State Treasurer, and we worked with the same broad coalition to develop curricula and organize teacher training in hundreds of school districts. It was hard work, but we believed deeply in it and the difference it could make for people, which made it all feel enjoyable and worthwhile.

Full Speech

The Survey of the States is a biennial report that brings attention to the critical importance of economics and personal finance education by documenting its status in the fifty states and the District of Columbia.

The recent economic downturn has brought nationwide attention to the dangers of a financially illiterate society. The 2011 Survey shows that while there has clearly been progress since the first Survey in 1998, that over the last two years, the trend is slowing and in some cases moving backwards.

The survey can facilitate an important dialogue that must take place between those who recognize that this knowledge is critical for young people and the decision makers that can effect change.

Key Findings

The number of states that now require students to take an economics course as a high school graduation requirement increased from 21 in 2009 to 22 in 2011.
However, only 16 states require the testing of student knowledge in economics, 3 fewer than in 2009.
No improvement has been seen in the area of personal finance. The number of states that require students to take a personal finance course (or personal finance included in an economics course) as a high school graduation requirement remains at 13.
Only 2 more states now require that personal finance content standards be implemented, bringing the total to 36.

More and full report

By Rachel McGrath
Posted April 7, 2012

There are likely few people who have weathered the recession of the past four years unscathed and that's one reason, advocates say, that children need to be better prepared for their personal economic future.

Margo White works for Junior Achievement of Southern California, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating students about entrepreneurship and financial literacy through hands-on activities.

"What we have just experienced as a nation and continue to deal with, how adults manage money or not, has become a topic at the forefront of people's thoughts on a daily basis. It has brought the topic of financial education to a level it's never been in the past," White said.

April is National Financial Literacy Month. More than half of U.S. adults admit that they do not have a budget, according to the 2012 Financial Literacy Survey released this month by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association.

Read more:
- vcstar.com

By Loren Berlin  |  Huffington Post

While The Great Recession has left millions of Americans unemployed and wiped out countless retirement accounts, it hasn't inspired educators to get serious about teaching financial literacy. Today, less than half of states require high school students to take an economics class and fewer states require high schools to offer financial literacy classes than in 2009, according to a new report from the Council on Economic Education.

Since 2009 only one state has introduced new requirements that high school students study economics in order to graduate, while three states actually stopped testing students' knowledge of the field, according to the report. Financial literacy courses haven't fared much better. As of 2009, 15 states required high schools to at least offer such classes. Today that number has dropped to 14.

By downplaying the importance of financial literacy, states are missing out on the chance to better equip high schoolers to succeed as adults, according to a 2010 study from the National Endowment for Financial Education.

After surveying nearly 16,000 college students, researchers concluded that students from states that required a financial education class were "more likely to display positive financial behaviors." Specifically, when compared to their peers, these students were more likely to save money, less likely to max out their credit cards, less likely to make late credit card payments and less likely to be compulsive buyers.

Full article and map of States