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Financial Literacy Standards Rolled Out for K-12

Recognizing the need for kids to be smarter about how they manage their money, the Council on Economic Education released the National Standards for Financial Literacy for K-12 education Tuesday.

Developed by economists, education specialists at Federal Reserve banks, and financial education researchers, the benchmarks are intended to provide a framework of essential knowledge that 4th, 8th, and 12th graders should master to be savvy financial consumers.

The standards cover six topics:

1. Earning and Income
2. Buying Goods and Services
3. Using Credit
4. Saving
5. Financial Investing
6. Protecting and Insuring

The curriculum supporting the standards is intended to be practical and academically sound, according to the CEE. Each standard is an overarching statement of content, accompanied by age-appropriate benchmarks and material that designed to apply to all socioeconomic student groups.

Other efforts are ramping up to educate young people about the money and the economy.

Last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released a new video, designed primarily for high school students, about how the Federal Reserve System works and its role in the economy. The free video, "The Federal Reserve and You" features two young hosts explaining monetary policy, bank regulation, and other economic topics with animation, informational graphics and historical reenactments.

Before students take on too much debt for their education, some high schools and colleges are launching new financial literacy programs. Still, research has found even many studying personal finance in high school don't have a solid grasp of the subject when tested.

Along with the standards, the CEE will develop nationally-normed financial literacy assessment tests.

To garner support for the standards and bring these concepts into the classroom, the New York City-based council is collaborating with Jump$tart, a coalition of organizations advocating for financial literacy among students from pre-K through college.

A free copy of the standards can be downloaded on the council website and a webinar will be offered next week to explain the initiative.

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