While the Great Recession put many Americans through a financial wringer, it has left at least one positive legacy, hopefully with long-term consequences: a renewed focus on financial literacy education that has united teachers, school districts and businesses in a commitment to curriculum, training and resources.
Financial literacy education advocates interviewed by USA TODAY all mentioned the financial crisis as the pocket-emptying influence behind the country’s increased attention on personal finance lessons in school.
“The American public felt they were a little bit in the dark and really didn’t understand the decisions they were making or not making,” says Nan Morrison, president of the Council for Economic Education, whose biennial Survey of the States measures financial literacy education implementation across the country. “The recession really put a fine point on that.”
Educators decided to try to do something to prepare the next generation of America’s earners.
“We look at things like this and translate them into education practice,” says Lynne Gilli, program manager for career and technology education instruction and head of financial literacy education for the Maryland State Department of Education. “We don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past.”
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