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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Releases Financial Education Curriculum Review Tool

Resource Will Help Guide Educators Looking to Select Appropriate Financial Education Material for Students

WASHINGTON, D.C – Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is releasing a tool that educators can use when selecting financial education curriculum for students. The curriculum review tool will help educators identify effective and unbiased material to increase the financial capability of students. By providing relevant evaluation criteria, the tool can help educators judge the value of financial education material for their students.

“Helping young people develop their financial capability early will prepare them for important financial decisions they will face in the future,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “The curriculum review tool we are releasing today will help educators determine which financial education curriculum best suits their students.”

Research links high school financial education courses with increased savings and wealth accumulation later in life. According to a Council for Economic Education study, 17 states currently require high school students to pass a financial education course as a condition for graduation. Despite the growing number of states encouraging financial education instruction, most educators do not feel well-equipped to meet this need. Only a small percentage of teachers have taken classes on the subject of personal finance, or feel confident about their ability to teach it. When attempting to find financial education material for their students, educators are often faced with the challenge of having to choose a suitable curriculum from a wide range of providers with few guidelines on how to select the most appropriate curriculum.

The CFPB developed this new tool by reviewing relevant literature, analyzing current financial education content standards, and consulting with educators and financial education experts. The result is a tool that will provide direction for curriculum developers and teachers to properly evaluate potential curricula as well as help them develop their own.

The curriculum review tool guides users through four key aspects of high quality financial education curriculum: content, utility, quality, and efficacy.

  • Curriculum Content: This helps reviewers assess whether a curriculum covers key topics and skills that are relevant, age-appropriate, and prioritized across major national financial education content standards.
  • Curriculum Utility: This helps reviewers determine whether the prospective curriculum provides instructional guidance and materials designed to facilitate strong and effective financial education instruction.
  • Curriculum Quality: This helps reviewers assess whether the material is presented in an accurate and objective manner to students.
  • Curriculum Efficacy: This helps reviewers determine how well the prospective curriculum improves students’ financial knowledge, skills, and behaviors.

A copy of the youth financial education curriculum Review Tool is available at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201509_cfpb_youth-financialeducation-curriculum-review.pdf

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit consumerfinance.gov.