Think About It: Economic Illogic in Our Schools - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

June 20, 2016

Think About It: Economic Illogic in Our Schools

Do your kids know how to balance a checkbook? Do they understand why paying exorbitant interest rates on credit cards is simply not a smart financial policy? Do they understand what it means to have a mortgage and make interest payments? Only 20 states in this country require high school students to take a course in economics. Just 17 states even require high schoolers to take a course in personal finance.

There's been no push or growth in these numbers in the past couple of years, and yes, Hawaii is unfortunately one of the states that requires nothing in the way of basic economic literacy before graduation. So the state that arguably has the highest costs in so many areas has no plans in place to help explain things and prepare our students for what's financially ahead, and what one might want to do.

We do require training on health standards, but not fiscal health. We teach the Pythagorean Theory and read Jane Austen novels in school. But we've resolved that it's just not valuable to teach logic and objective facts related to the facts that most humans have limited resources with which to fulfill wants and needs and as a result, everyone must make certain choices with their money, or lack thereof. Sounds like something schools could do that would benefit us all. This is a call for action, for teaching fundamental economic skills, for figuring out how not to overburden busy teachers but to make this core need as simple as ABC. Think about it…

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