SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: Required high school course with embedded financial literacy instruction; Georgia Milestone Economics/Business/Free Enterprise End-of-Course Assessment; Some K-12 financial literacy standards
Needs Improvement: Needs to require high school stand-alone personal finance course and implement grade-specific K-8 financial literacy standards
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
In order to graduate high school in Georgia, a student must complete a one-half credit economics course, which includes personal finance instruction. There are 21 standards for the required economics course, six of which are personal finance specific. Furthermore, the Georgia Department of Education offers standards for the Personal Financial Literacy elective course, also under its Social Studies standards. In 2014, the Georgia House passed House Resolution 1186, which requested “the State Board of Education and the State Department of Education to impose as a requirement for high school graduation the successful completion of a SKILLS FOR SUCCESS financial literacy class.” The change has not yet been implemented.
Any student enrolled in an economics course, therefore each student who graduates from a Georgia high school, is required to take the Georgia Milestone Economics/Business/Free Enterprise End-of-Course Assessment. The state-wide assessment counts as 20% of the student’s final grade in the course. Personal Finance Economics is 19% of the material tested, out of five total categories. The assessment is intended to test the student’s knowledge of the state standards.
Financial literacy is somewhat embedded in Georgia’s K-12 standards, but not thoroughly. Under Social Studies Georgia Standards of Excellence, there are economics standards for each grade, K-8. There are specific personal budget and money management standards in Grades 4, 5, and 8. While Georgia students are therefore exposed to financial literacy, it is not a guaranteed component of their education in each grade.
Because it provides some financial literacy, but not in each grade, K-12, Georgia receives a “C.” Georgia has embedded financial literacy standards in its required high school economics course and in some K-8 grades. Also, the end-of-course assessment for the economics course ensure that students are assessed in some personal finance concepts. In order to receive an “A,” Georgia should follow the request of House Resolution 1186 and require a stand-alone personal finance high school course as well as create financial literacy standards for the grades currently missing them.