High School Report Card in Economics

From Real Time Economics:

The nation’s “Report Card in Economics,” released Wednesday, found no improvement in high-school seniors’ economics knowledge from six years ago, on the eve of the crisis. The U.S. Department of Education project surveyed and tested nearly 11,000 12th-graders in 480 American public and private schools.

Researchers also found few differences in the distribution among the three levels of students’ economics knowledge: basic, proficient or advanced. Basic knowledge means a student can identify and recognize concepts such as gross domestic product; proficient entails a more comprehensive set of concepts, including opportunity costs and interest rates. Advanced translates into an understanding of fiscal and monetary policy as well as exchange rates. In both the 2006 and 2012 assessments, only 3% of students were advanced. The other two levels inched up: 39% of students were at the basic level in 2012, from 38% in 2006; the percentage of proficient students rose to 40% in 2012 from 39% in 2006.

Takeaway: only three percent of high school seniors have a basic understanding of Financial Policy or Monetary Policy. Unfortunately, if they don’t take any economics in college, they probably won’t ever understand, as we cannot trust pundits or the news to explain or understand these topics.

PS: How well do you suppose Congress would score on this test?



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