SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: Stand-alone course, Personal Finance required for high school graduation; K-12 financial literacy standards; Personal Finance End-of-Course assessment available
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
One of the few states to do so, Missouri requires each student to complete a one-half credit stand-alone Personal Finance course for high school graduation. The course can count as an elective, Social Studies, or Practical Arts credit towards graduation requirements. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education updated the Personal Finance Course Level Expectations in Summer 2017, to be implemented in the 2019-2020 school year, which includes seven robust topics on financial literacy. There are also Missouri Personal Finance Competencies expected to be met through the course. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has developed and offers a Missouri Personal Finance Curriculum aligned to the Course Level Expectations and Competencies. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has also developed The Tools for Teaching the Missouri Personal Finance Competencies which is a curriculum guide for the Missouri required Personal Finance course, aligned to national and Missouri standards.
Students may choose to “test-out” of the Personal Finance course and receive the one-half required credit of personal finance by attaining a score of 90% or higher on the Personal Finance End-of-Course Assessment. Students taking personal finance content as embedded coursework must also take the Personal Finance End-of-Course Assessment. The pass rate is at the discretion of their district. For students who take the stand-alone Personal Finance course, the Personal Finance End-of-Course Assessment is optional.
Missouri 2005 House Concurrent Resolution No. 24 resolved “that the Missouri State Board of Education be encouraged to accept the recommendation as prepared by the Missouri Commissioner of Education and the Missouri Taskforce on the High School for coursework in personal finance economics” which calls “for a required course in personal finance economics for graduation.” The Missouri General Assembly previously passed House Bill No. 1973 in 2002 calling for a study “of steps to improve economic and financial education in Missouri schools,” and the Governor signed Executive Order 02-08 calling for the same study. The proposed personal finance requirement was approved with the new recommended high school graduation requirements at the October 2005 Missouri State Board of Education Meeting.
The Missouri K-5 and 6-12 Social Studies Grade Level Expectations include economics standards for each grade, including personal finance concepts. These help to ensure financial literacy instruction in K-12 curriculum.
Missouri receives an “A” for ensuring financial literacy instruction from kindergarten through 12th grade, including a required stand-alone personal finance course for graduation and Grades K-12 financial literacy standards embedded into the social studies standards.