Yes folks; Financial Literacy Month is almost upon us once again and here come the “mountain top screamers”. You know them, right? They’re not too hard to find; just Google Financial Literacy and hundreds of non-profits, politicians, and personal finance guru’s pop up shouting from the mountain top “Teach more financial literacy!”
Here, let me help you:
Wichita legislator Rep. Melody McCray-Miller, a Democrat, says she’s working on a proposal to make sure schools teach children about personal finance from kindergarten through the 12th grade
State Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, sponsored Senate Bill 1449 which passed the Arizona Senate and now is moving over to the House Education Committee. She said basic personal finance skills create a healthy fiscal environment for families, which translates into the workforce. “It relays to how someone manages their mortgages, how they manage their debt. There are individuals who remain potentially unemployed and unready for the workforce because they just don’t have the basic skills in order to survive in a workforce setting.”
In Mississippi, Bill 637 was allowed to die in the Senate Education Committee. Critics said we don’t need financial literacy because they already teach it. During the 2011-2012 school year, 5,869 out of 29,155 high school seniors took the personal finance elective. That’s only 20%, which is a failing grade in the school system!
Sen. Brent Waltz, R-Greenwood, pushing Senate Bill 418, a proposal to mandate financial literacy for grades 6-12 says “In high school we learned about the Laffer Curve and Keynesian economic theory,” he says. “Both are important but we never were taught how to balance a checkbook or what a sub-prime mortgage would be or the perils of credit card debt. Bankers would know because they interact. It’s their business. They interact with customers on a daily basis and they see the deficiencies of financial literacy,”
Detroit Public Schools launched two initiatives to teach students the value of saving money. The effort combines an educational video game with classroom lessons on money management based on the award-winning Practical Money Skills for Life program. The program aims to reinforce basic math and money-handling skills and highlight the importance of saving money.
You get the picture…
If it’s so important, why isn’t it improving?
As in improving our children’s future; as in improving the lives of adults and their families? As Kathy Griffin of MoneyU.com said in a comment she left on this blog, “Despite a glut of financial literacy education, the needle hasn’t moved very much two decades into the Financial Literacy movement.”
And yet, every year right around this time, here come the “mountain top screamers” yelling “Teach more financial literacy”. Why? What are you teaching now that is any different than what you have been teaching over the last 20 years?
Wake Up America
That’s right; wake the #*@^ up because what you are being taught is what the system wants you to learn; financial functionality. I also think the jury’s no longer out on this one; IT’S NOT WORKING!
It’s not working for you, it hasn’t worked for me, and it’s not working for our children! There’s only one thing left to do; take back control from a system that tries to teach independence, while leaving you dependent on the very system they want to teach you to function within!
Time to Go “Howard Beale” on Them
“All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’
In case you didn’t know it, those words aren’t mine. They belong to Howard Beale who was a fictional character in the 1976 movie (yes, I know I’m old) Network. Go ahead and watch the clip below and see if it still doesn’t apply today!
Click on the post below to read what we should be teaching alongside comprehensive financial literacy
Any politician, banker, non-profit or anyone else who wants to carry the water for a failed financial literacy movement, feel free to jump in and get the conversation started by leaving a comment below!