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View Diary: WTF do you want from public education? w/poll (116 comments)

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  •  Here's one thing sorely lacking (5+ / 0-)

    in education.  Every high school student out to have to take a "personal finances" class.  I mean really basic things like how to budget, how to use credit and debt wisely, that kind of thing.  For example, I am amazed by the number of adults in our society who simply do not realize -- or refuse to comprehend -- that using a credit card is borrowing money at an exhorbitant rate of interest.  Charging a $500 flat screen tv is is like going to a bank and saying, please lend me $500 at 15% or 20% interest.  It's a really bad way of paying for necessities; and it is absolutely insane to use a credit card to pay for anything that is not an absolute necessity (unless you have the cash to pay it off completely).  But many people don't realize it until too late.  If the population were more educated, for example, about financing, maybe fewer people would have been taken in by these interest only, ARM balloon mortgages.  Nobody should get out of high school without understanding: (1) what is on your paycheck stubs (what taxes are taken out and why); (2) that tax refunds are simply money that you "lent" to the government at no interest; (3) what your personal credit score is, and how to build a good credit record without going into debt; (4) the different ways of financing a house, what each means, and how to figure out which is best for your situation; (5) the different ways of financing a car, what each means, and how to figure out what is best for your situation; (6) personal credit -- credit cards, home equity loans, etc. -- how they work and when each should, and should not, be used; (7) how to save and build personal wealth and retirement savings, at whatever level of income.  We need to give people the tools to manage their financial lives.

    •  I've been singing that song for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      algebrateacher

      30 years. Much more valuable than almost anything I learned in high school science.

      "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." Anne Lamott

      by MsWings on Wed Mar 04, 2009 at 07:39:30 AM PST

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    •  Absolutely (3+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately, classes like that get pushed out of the curriculum.  

      "Most of them arrived via public transit."

      by otto on Wed Mar 04, 2009 at 07:42:56 AM PST

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    •  Why "personal finance" is not offered in so many (0+ / 0-)

      (if not most) public schools: It is not college-bound learning.  The Algebra-Geometry-Algebra II-pre-Calculus-Calculus AP sequence is enshrined in the American junior and senior high school now.  It's part of the fast-lane to college.

      The typical American high school is orientated towards serving those who will go to college.  That is why other programming options, particularly career classes, have disappeared or have been farmed out to cooperatives or regional centers.

      The Tutoring Room is updated (new diary) on Wed. mornings. 3/4: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/3/4/82116/46364/311/704472

      by algebrateacher on Wed Mar 04, 2009 at 07:32:33 PM PST

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      •  And what do you think about that? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        algebrateacher

        I ask for your personal opinion.

        As an English teacher and college graduate myself, I find it a whole combination of troubling. On the one hand I want students to enjoy a college experience. On the other, I realize it isn't appropriate for all students, and for a variety of reasons. Some people do better with the discipline of a job. Others need more time to finish developing (sometimes I think the homo sapiens latency period is slowly extending.) Still others have family issues that might require attention, and there is absolutely no reason people always have to do things in the same rigid, lockstep order.

        In the same vein, that sequence of classes IS important. Is it good to change it? Might students be better served by the development of a curriculum which uses financially-based real-life examples to demonstrate mathematical concepts?

        •  Somewhere, somehow, sometime, it has to be ok to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joseph rainmound

          say a student can graduate high school without a plan to attend college.  That does not rule out trade schools and such; I am thinking of four-year academic colleges.

          But it's not going to happen as long as there is a theme that if young people don't go to college, they are somehow less than those who do.

          The sequence for college is fine, but if a student wants to go off those rails and on to a different destination, we have to say that's o.k.

          We just don't.

          The Tutoring Room is updated (new diary) on Wed. mornings. 3/4: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/3/4/82116/46364/311/704472

          by algebrateacher on Thu Mar 05, 2009 at 07:55:51 AM PST

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