Why, then, is there no national standard for teaching basic economics and financial literacy, the way there are proficiency standards for subjects like reading and math? Only 17 states require high-school students to take a single course in personal finance, never mind to demonstrate that we understand how credit works. According to the College Board, in 2013 more students took the Advanced Placement exam in psychology than took the macroeconomics and microeconomics exams combined.
We don’t need a federal mandate, or a Common Core-style controversy. The states that don’t teach economics or personal finance should simply learn from the ones that do it well. A 2015 report by the Finra Investor Education Foundation singled out Georgia, Idaho and Texas as doing a particularly good job of teaching students about money matters. “In all three of the states examined, we find a statistically significant increase in credit scores beginning two years following the implementation of the [financial education] mandate,” the report’s authors note...."