LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — This school year is the first in which Arkansas high school seniors will have been required by the state to pass a semester course in economics in order to graduate.
To help teachers lead students through the new course standards, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ Little Rock Branch and Economics Arkansas partnered to create a free semester-long economics and personal finance course for educators.
In the wake of the Great Recession, the need to prepare students for an economically sound future has never been more important, and there is cause for concern in Arkansas. In 2011, the Employee Benefit Research Institute ranked Arkansas residents No. 48 among the states in financial behavior, and No. 49 in financial literacy.
The Little Rock Branch and St. Louis Fed, in this and other economic education programs, hope to make a difference.
“We were thrilled to be a part of the team that developed the new curriculum and have high hopes of seeing improvement in our state’s national rankings over time,” said Robert Hopkins, Regional Executive at the St. Louis Fed’s Little Rock office. “Improving economic and financial literacy helps people provide a better life for themselves and their families, and better equips them to be engaged, informed citizens.”
The new curriculum for educators, “Tools for Teaching the Arkansas Economics and Personal Finance Course” complements the Common Core State Standards in math, English, language arts and reading, and it is aligned with the Arkansas State Economics Frameworks, as well as the National Standards in Economics.
The course provides online and print resources from the St. Louis Fed and the Federal Reserve System, including high-quality, effective, activity-based lessons for high school economics teachers. The course tools include PowerPoint presentations, data sources and web links.
Learn more about the course at www.stlouisfed.org/education_resources/tools-for-teaching-the-arkansas-economics-and-personal-finance-course/.
The St. Louis Fed—including the Little Rock Branch— is committed to financial literacy. Its Economic Education department offers free downloadable lesson plans, interactive whiteboard activities, videos and online courses for classrooms ranging from elementary school to college, as well as educational resources for the general public. The St. Louis Fed’s economic education courses and curriculum have reached nearly 375,000 students nationwide. All of the materials are available at http://www.stlouisfed.org/education_resources/.