Why don't we teach more personal finance in high schools while American citizens continue to...
rack up debt? This just seems like common sense to me. What do you think the problem is that we are sending kids out unprepared for real financial responsibility?
It should be the parents job to teach their children financial responsibility.
Because schools are overburdened. As a [financially-conscious] member of society, I am frustrated with the lack of financial preparation our students get. As a teacher, I don't know where we'd get the money and teachers for it. Schools are strapped as it is, and federal mandates like NCLB and corresponding state mandates have made it so that the focus of the schools, in the past ten years more than ever, has turned to be very heavily oriented towards math and English, and, to some degree, science. If scores aren't high enough in these areas, schools lose what little funding they have and receive a variety of other sanctions. Because of that, funding for programs like art, music, technology, and financial education have been significantly reduced--if we're not tested over it, apparently it doesn't matter.
Also feeding into this is our constant need to compare ourselves to other nations in those areas. However, those who do the comparing fail to take into account that we are the only nation who educations (and thus tests) every student. And if we are going to educate every student, we need to, like you indicate, educate them for the world with things like a financial education.
I agree with you that our children need to know more about finance before leaving high school. More outcomes could be added to the curriculum so that students learn more about financial responsibility. However, teens are also bombarded with ads for buying stuff and credit card companies offer them an easy way to pay for everything they want. Part of the problem is teens not knowing how to deal with finances, but the other part is teens not knowing how to make responsible purchases-- then again, materialism is hard to escape!
Don't you know that we and our children are considered consumers? That means consume, spend, buy, go into debt to prove yourself a consumer. When I was in high school back in the 1950s we were told that if we would put $25 a month into the bank for the rest of our life, that by the time we retired we would be millionaires. That is because interest is compounded on interest.
Not any more. When my children graduated high school, they got a credit card through the mail from the local bank. I think the bank sent one to every graduate. I did not give the cards to my children because I felt it would only lead them into debt. They needed to learn how to get a job and pay cash for what they purchased.
I agree with ediggity. We could have a high school class devoted to the subject but by that time each child would have already been subconsciously trained by the way their parents handle money. This is one lesson that parents need to handle proactively, by helping their children understand the value of money, the value of working for something.
I think it's a great idea in theory, but not very feasible. We don't exactly have the best education system in place (just look at all the people would graduate HS with barely a 6-7th grade reading/writing level). I know I'm a cynic, but really...if they're struggling with something as simple as english and math, personal finance will definitely go over their heads.
Because if they taught High School kids financial responsibility and savvy, none of them would go to college.
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