The Stockton Center for Economic and Financial Literacy recognizes that we live in a globalized economy that operates 24/7, around the clock. A financial market is open somewhere in the world at all hours of the day and across the international date line. There are regular, periodic news releases of indicators and statistics that measure the pulse of economic health as well as forecasts for the future of the economy and business: stock prices and indexes, consumer prices, bond prices, interest rates, consumer credit, employment, housing starts, retail sales, corporate profits, etc. How do we learn about all of these concepts, how they relate to one another, and how they affect the personal finances of households?
In school, of course!
Key sites of learning—whether it is financial literacy, economic literacy, information literacy, or knowledge in the arts and sciences—is K – 12 education and in colleges and universities. New Jersey’s Core Curriculum Content Standards specify in rich detail the knowledge and skills required in order to graduate from high school. Personal finance and economics requirements begin early, with students who need to explain how income affects spending and take-home pay and understand what a budget is by the end of Grade 4. The content becomes more complex by Grade 8 where students need to be able to evaluate financial institutions, develop financial planning strategies, and summarize the causes of personal bankruptcy. High school graduates should be able to explain such things as how predicative modeling determines credit scores, the impact of events and economic conditions on stock prices, consumer protection laws, and taxes and employee benefits.
The Center works to maintain active links to curricular materials that help current college students and K-12 educators to strengthen their economic and financial literacy knowledge and skills.