Financial Education - Let's Add More to Teacher/Student Workload

It's hard to say what is going on but Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos appears to be taking a sharp turn to the ed reform side.  The newest evidence comes from the Seattle Education blog:

Washington State Representative Santos was a primary sponsor for yet another nonsensical bill, House Bill 1121. 

From the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) Watch List,  is the following description of the bill:

Directs  the partnership to work with OSPI to  integrate financial ed into common core and career and college standards.

Directs districts to offer a course students can take at school or home (meaning online).

Districts are encouraged to grant credit. Allows the partnership to seek federal and private funds (guess who from).

 This is puzzling because under the leasing agreements for Common Core (you do know that those standards are privately held, right?), a district/teacher can only change 10% of them.  I suspect a whole subject like "financial ed" would be a significant change.

Also to note, there are states that are now writing into their graduation requirements that all graduates have take at least one on-line course.  Is this bill an effort in that direction?

I also see major ed reformer Rep. Chad Magendanz (as well as a surprise - Rep. Gerry Pollet) on the list of co-sponsors. 

Seattle Ed investigates:

Going through the list of Santos’ contributors, as well as Representative Magendanz donors, one contributor pops up, K12 Management/K12 Inc., see This Goes Under “Cashing In On Ed Reform” : K12 Inc.  (We are in the process of finding out how many other legislators have received funding from K12 Inc./K12 Management.)

K12 Inc. is a for-profit company that sells online courses to school districts and they are making millions of dollars doing just that although their track record is far from admirable.

And one guess what one of their courses is, the elective “Personal Finance”.

Again, how's that work on McCleary going, Rep. Santos (given you want to keeping adding to the workload for districts/teachers)?


Eric B said…
The campaign contribution from the people with the financial literacy curriculum is a little weird. On the other hand, I think a financial literacy course would be a great thing. It might be tied in with a life skills class to make up a full semester.

There's a lot of research out there that the American public's financial literacy is crap on average, and that this perpetuates the divide between rich and poor. Trying to break that down isn't such a bad thing.
Oh I have no problem with financial literacy as a class (or part of it).

I have a problem adding it when:
- Common Core is just getting started
- the state doesn't fully fund what we have
- it's tied to online learning

Let's get basics down and then move on. (And not forget music/arts, health, etc., either.)
Anonymous said…
Idaho had a mandatory "take an online class" pushed by their now departed counterpart to Randy Dorn - Tom Luna. Guess who he got kickbacks from?

It was then repealed after voters said no way to Tom Luna's big tech plan.

Anonymous said…
Common core is privately held??? By whom??
Anonymous said…
One of the required badges for Eagle Scout has to do with personal finance. I remember having some personal finance education in 5th grade before we went to camp at the gifted school I attended. We learned how to balance a checkbook and make a budget. There are classes at Hale that include personal finance. Most kids who are college focused don't take them because there are more important electives to take like a 3rd or 4th year of foreign language.

I agree with Melissa, how about focusing on McCleary and getting the schools fully funded before we add more stuff the schools have to do?

From the CoreStandards (Common Core) website: (

NGA Center/CCSSO shall be acknowledged as the sole owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards, and no claims to the contrary shall be made.

Any publication or public display shall include the following notice: “© Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.”

States and territories of the United States as well as the District of Columbia that have adopted the Common Core State Standards in whole are exempt from this provision of the License.

The NGA Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) hereby grant a limited, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to copy, publish, distribute, and display the Common Core State Standards for purposes that support the Common Core State Standards Initiative. These uses may involve the Common Core State Standards as a whole or selected excerpts or portions.
Anonymous said…
Thank you Melissa.

I am a concerned parent, not necessary an education expert so some of these details are new to me.

I find it ironic that "Common Core" is not "common" at all but rather proprietory.

More ironic is that a distric with its own personal finance problems would offer classes on finances. Finances is not just about numbers, it is about values and priorities. My checkbook will never balance if I am wasteful no matter how carefully I add and subtract.

Anonymous said…

Anonymous said…
Because the CC is copyrighted, my understanding is we can't change any of the standards as they currently are. We are, however, able add up to 15% new material. Of course, this poses a problem as the tests are all geared towards the standards in their current rendition, although it's not an issue if everyone opts out as is happening in many schools in Colorado.
So these are the numbers that United Opt Out has so far for Colorado -
ThunderRidge High School (1200 opt outs - we think it's over 65% of students but don't yet have exact numbers per class/not counting seniors)
Fairview High School 82% opted out
Boulder High School 65% opted out
Centaurus High School 23% opted out
Monarch High School 17% opted out
Broomfield High School 4% opted out
Palmer High School - Juniors have 70% opted out
Monument Academy Charter - 57% opted out (prek to 8th grade)
James Irwin Elementary 40% opted out
Chery Creek High School 70% opted out and their testing doesn't start until next week so could be greater
The Classical Academy (central) Charter in Colorado Springs 25% opted out!
Hopefully this is a sign of the beginning of the end for reform!

"Happy Camper"
Unknown said…
Several years ago, State Senator Karen Keiser submitted a similar bill. I thought it had passed but am not sure what ever happened for implementation.

Math class would be a great place to introduce concepts like compound interest, how much it really costs to repay an auto, house or payday loan, and issues associated with college financing.
Anonymous said…
I once learned personal finance in a class called "Math."

Yes, it used to be that simple.

Today's "Discovery" Geometry students are required to memorize definitions of "conjectures" which I somehow made it through advanced calculus without ever having to do.

Yes, it used to be that simple.

Anonymous said…
Not to mention, the definition of "directly proportional". That means it's a linear relationship AND it goes through the origin. (eg, y value is 0 when x is 0). That term is on the test for 7th graders. Wake up. Also, be sure you're boned up on all geometric forulas. How many bloggers know the equation for figuring out the volume of a sphere... or a cone. Those aren't going to be handed to middle schoolers on a platter anymore. Never mind that the twentieth century skill is actually just looking that crap up when you need to. What we really have is truly awesome mid 20th century test.

Reality Sucks
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Unknown said…
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