Kimberly Palmer, senior editor for U.S. News & World Report, writes a column called Alpha Consumer at U.S. News & World Report‘s website about “how to stay on top in the consumer world by saving money, avoiding scams, managing debt, and otherwise staying sane”.
Last week she wrote a column about the Jump$tart Coalition’s Personal Financial Literacy Test, which tests 12th graders’ practical money knowledge, and how she missed one of the questions on the test sampler published on U.S. News & World Report‘s website.
I took the sample test and scored 6 out of 6. Yay me. I have to admit that I’m surprised she missed a question, and more so about the question she missed. Of the six questions on the test, question #5 (the one she missed) was one of the two easiest, with the most obvious correct answer. Even if I didn’t have personal experience paying income tax on my savings account interest, to me the other three choices were obvious throwaways.
Whether or not Kimberly Palmer should have missed the question isn’t really the point, though. Anyone can miss a question on any test, even experts. What’s troubling is the 52% of students who are not passing the test, most likely because their parents can’t teach them what they don’t know.
I’d love to see school include more daily living and money management skills into the classroom. But with No Child Left Behind and the bottomless pit of slime that is standardized testing there’s no time for stressed-out teachers to do anything but teach to the test.
I’m not worried about my son – at least not in this area. He will know about money, how to manage it and how to accumulate it. But he’s got informed parents. Well, more informed than some.
My son’s financial education has already started. Even if I never sat down and tell him a thing (though trust me, I will) he’ll be learning by the example I set, just like with everything else .
Leading by example.
Must. Stop. Eating. Cookies.