- More than a sixth of U.S. 15-year olds failed to meet basic proficiency benchmarks on the financial literacy section of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) exam given by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
- While Shanghai teens had the highest average scores (603 points), U.S. students were significantly lower (492 points) and fell overall in the middle of the 18 countries included.
- Questions on the exam ranged from simple (identifying the purpose of an invoice) to challenging (analyzing loans with different rates), and only 9.4% of the U.S. students were able to answer the more rigorous questions.
According to a 2014 report from the Council for Economic Education, only 19 U.S. states require high schools to offer courses in personal finance. It's clear the results on PISA are a reflection. It's odd that education policymakers and pundits keep talking about partnering with the business community but nobody is requesting the most basic business lessons: Personal finance classes. If students are to be prepared for the world and set up to make smart choices, personal finance classes should be pushed more forcefully into high school curriculums.