SUMMARY OF GRADE
Significant Accomplishments: Middle and high school financial literacy instruction requirement; Oklahoma Personal Financial Literacy Passport
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 Oklahoma, high school students must fulfill the requirements of a personal financial literacy passport prior to graduation. The requirements for doing so are “satisfactory completion in all areas of instruction in personal financial literacy,” which are 14 topics listed in 2007 House Bill 1476. “Personal financial literacy instruction shall be integrated into one or more existing courses of study or provided in a separate personal financial literacy course… The State Board of Education shall identify and adopt curriculum standards for personal financial literacy instruction” that should be “incorporated into the state academic content standards.” The law applies to Grades 7-12. The Personal Financial Literacy Passport Priority Academic Student Skills is a guide with the 14 personal finance standards clarified with additional information. The Oklahoma Personal Financial Literacy Passport includes a cumulative record which must be kept for each student and provided as proof for which class they received the instruction in for each of the 14 Priority Academic Student Skills, which can occur from Grades 7-12 and in one Personal Financial Literacy course or integrated into multiple different courses. The students must demonstrate “satisfactory knowledge” in each area in order to meet the requirement. A student may “test out of personal financial literacy through a district-created assessment(s) for the 14 areas of instruction or the State Department of Education’s online curriculum modules which offer secure Web-based assessments.”
While the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Social Studies include specific economics standards for each grade, K-high school, there are not personal finance concepts embedded into the standards beyond basic economic concepts in K-1. This means Oklahoma students are not guaranteed financial literacy instruction until they work towards the Personal Financial Literacy Passport in Grades 7-12.
The Oklahoma Department of Education has a dedicated Personal Financial Literacy Page with personal financial literacy curriculum, teacher guides, and resources.
Although Oklahoma provides substantial financial literacy instruction in middle and high school through the Personal Financial Literacy Passport, it still receives a “C,” as there are no financial literacy standards for Grades K-6. In order to improve its grade, Oklahoma needs to add K-6 grade-specific standards. Requiring that the 14 financial literacy standards be met in a stand-alone high school course rather than integrated into multiple courses would also improve Oklahoma’s grade.