Slowly reading through Most Likely to Succeed and came across a point similar to something I argued in a post I wrote two years ago. I made the argument that students should take at least one thorough economics course in high school. Thinking back on it, I think every high school student should take at least two economics courses, but I digress. Ted Dintersmith and Tony Wagner expand on the-necessary-courses-in-high-school-debate by saying that it is more imperative, useful and practical to take finance literacy and civics courses, than it is to take years of, say, Earth Science.
The point I was trying to make then, and the point they’re trying to make now, is that these courses actually speak to our goal of making students better citizens. We get lost in the need to make young adults “college ready” that we forget to make them informed citizens. These courses, more than me struggling my way through Spanish from 7th grade until my sophomore year of college, would prove to be far more beneficial. Without speaking Spanish, I’ve managed to become a college graduate with a great job, but I’m also trying relearn both the election process and prepare my taxes for the upcoming tax season. I was taught the election process during a couple of lesson plans in both middle school and high school but quickly forgot it after everything else I studied since then. I never learned much about taxes (except for the fact that we all must pay them!). I went to a good college in New York City and the only thing we had close to a financial literacy class was 2 hour-long financial literacy lectures at the end of my senior year, when I was working hard to graduate with a high GPA. It should have been a required course that one takes in your Junior or Senior year.
I’m reading other ed policy content and have a little less than 2/3 of the book to read. But, so far, if I’ve taken anything away from this book, it’s that high schools and colleges need to care more about economics, financial literacy and civics. These educational institutions are currently doing a gross injustice against their students.