It’s Time to Think Proactively

ASCD published a blurb entitled: “Recession sparks interest in school personal-finance classes”

The summary said:

More states are considering mandating school courses in personal finance as credit-card debt and foreclosures mount. “The silver lining to our country’s economic conditions just may be that we place a greater emphasis on financial education, which does our country well for many generations,” said Laura Levine, executive director of the JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.

I am so, so tired our our reactive–rather than proactive–approach to life in our country.

After there’s a widespread break-out of E. coli, then the FDA sets more stringent regulations for the factory production and distribution of meat.

After our country is besieged by terrorism, then the TSA tightens security procedures at airports.

After people start foreclosing on their homes and claiming bankcruptcy, then our schools start teaching financial literacy.

Give me a break! We have to wake up and start thinking ahead. Figuring out what our children need to be successful in college, the 21st century workforce, life in their families and communities, and the globalized world is not rocket science. Of course they need to be financially literate. We didn’t need an economic collapse to tell us that.

They also need to understand how to live a healthy lifestyle. And they need emotional intelligence. And the ability to speak multiple languages, think creatively, innovate, solve-problems, set goals and plan backwards to achieve them, understand diverse perspectives, question the legitimacy of information, synthesize information, resolve conflict peacefully and symbiotically–the list goes on.

My point is, we need to deliberately think about the world our children will grow up to assume control of, and we need to structure our schools to prepare them for that world. We can’t wait for national or international crises to make the decision for us.

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