We’re delighted to have brought our Education Advisory Group for 2015 on board! Twenty-two teachers from diverse personal and professional backgrounds will be with us through November, and their work will include providing feedback on content ideas, teaching activities, SF Fed economic education resources, the use of technology, and best practices related to teaching about the Federal Reserve and the U.S. economy.
17 of our 22 EAG 2015 members
The group includes five community college and seventeen high school educators from both public and private schools with 1 to 24 years of experience teaching economics (of course!), government, business, marketing, and mathematics. There is representation from nearly all states in the 12th District.
Early last month, the EAG kicked off their work by attending a professional development conference at our Head Office in San Francisco. The conference agenda included an in-depth discussion on the purposes and functions of the Fed, an economic outlook from Senior Outreach Economist Liz Laderman, and a tour of cash operations, the Fed Center, and our American Currency Exhibit.
The group also dove into economic education content with a feedback and brainstorming session around our soon-to-be-launched Chair the Fed game on monetary policy (currently known as The Fed Chairman Game).
All that serious learning and hard work was capped off with a lively networking reception so that everyone could get to know their fellow EAG members and the SF Fed Econ Ed staff!
Last week, the Chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen spoke about inequality and opportunity in America. Her remarks were based on recent results from the Federal Reserve’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). The survey includes roughly 6,000 U.S. households and provides specific details about their income, wealth, and debt. This look at family balance sheets formed the basis for Chair Yellen’s remarks on inequality and economic opportunity in the U.S.
You can watch the video, read the full speech, and view the slides at the bottom of this page.
I wanted to highlight for you the four building blocks of economic opportunity that were identified by Chair Yellen in her speech, along with some supporting charts from the survey. In future posts, we’ll dive more deeply into the topic of inequality.
Four Building Blocks of Economic Opportunity in America
#1. Resources Available for Children
Figure 9 above shows that access to quality early childhood education has improved since the 1990s, but it remains limited–41% of children were enrolled in state or federally supported programs in 2013.
We’ve been busy at the SF Fed’s Los Angeles Branch! On Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, 96 youth from the Academy of Business Leadership (ABL) visited for sessions on mentoring, financial literacy lessons, and resume and job interview skills.
Thursday saw the arrival of 42 members from the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles for a similar experience. Both events were designed to develop leadership skills and to encourage careers in banking, business, finance, and economics.
In his welcoming remarks to the ABL audience, Roger Replogle, SF Fed Senior Vice President and Los Angeles Branch Manager, advised the young audience: “Learn to run to the fire – that’s where you find opportunity to grow, learn, and help. Don’t look for the easy path. Look for the hard one.” He shared stories of successes and failures, both personal and professional, and lessons learned.
Lise Luttgens, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, provided welcoming remarks for the Girl Scouts event and stressed that “gender is no barrier to financial literacy and independence.”
It’s easy to become complacent about our finances with the vast number of websites, apps, and businesses available today that specialize in helping people manage their money. Granted, technology can be a powerful partner in financial management, but it cannot replace a strong understanding of factors that should inform decisions about how, where, and when we spend our money.
Why is financial literacy more important than ever?
Our financial landscape has grown increasingly complex. Before a young person approaches college or a career, he or she is faced with big decisions on how much money to borrow for tuition, how much to save, how to invest, and how to grow and protect their budding wealth.
Image via GW Today
Dr. Annamaria Lusardi, a professor of economics and accountancy at the George Washington School of Business, wanted to test how financially literate populations are, both in the United States and internationally. What she found was surprising. She discussed her research recently at a TEDx Foggy Bottom gathering.