Schools

Education, Treasury Recognize High-Scoring Students in the 2010-11 National Financial Capability Challenge


WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–April 21, 2011.  As part of an ongoing effort to mark national Financial Literacy Month, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of the Treasury today recognized high-scoring students in the National Financial Capability Challenge for the 2010-11 school year. The Challenge, which includes a voluntary online exam for high school students, helps teach young Americans about saving, budgeting, investing, and other important skills critical to building a secure financial future.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal S. Wolin honored top-scoring students today at a public meeting of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC. Nationwide, more than 84,000 high school students and 2,500 educators in all 50 states, as well as in U.S. Department of Defense schools for children of military members around the world, participated in the 2010-11 Challenge.

“It’s critical for our young people to develop smart financial skills,” said Secretary Duncan. “If we’re going to prepare our students for 21st century success, we have to teach them about earning and spending, saving and investing. Otherwise, they’re going to learn the hard way: by making mistakes. I’m encouraged to see the steps that teachers and states are taking to make basic financial education a priority and congratulate these students on their great work.”

“Empowering students with the knowledge they need to make good decisions about saving, budgeting, and investing is critical to helping them build secure financial futures,” said Deputy Secretary Wolin. “I want to congratulate these students on their achievements and thank them for serving as examples to their peers about the importance of financial education.”

Students who scored in the top 20 percent nationally and those who were among the top scorers in their school will receive official award certificates. Idaho, Vermont, and South Dakota had the highest average test scores among states on the 2010-11 Challenge, while Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey had the most participating students. State-by-state results and sample questions from the exam are included below and at www.challenge.treas.gov.

In blog entries posted on the websites of the Treasury and Education departments, high-scoring students honored at today’s ceremony in Washington, DC wrote about the importance of the Challenge in helping provide young Americans with a strong foundation in financial education.

Anna Martin, a student from the Ephrata Area School District in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, wrote: “The Financial Challenge was a great way to test how much students know about real life financial situations. Students will have to deal with financial situations similar to those on the test and need to know how to handle them.”

Carlos Riveros-Sabogal, a student from the Applications and Research Laboratory school in Howard County, Maryland, wrote: “I believe the Financial Capability Challenge is important because it allows students to demonstrate their ability to handle money wisely. In today’s economy, it is vital for young people to learn how to handle their finances properly to avoid financial struggle.”

Challenge participants scored 69 percent on average, demonstrating that many students still need to make additional progress in strengthening their financial skills and knowledge. The Obama Administration is taking further steps to help empower Americans through improved financial capability. In November, the Administration unveiled a new coordinated National Strategy for Financial Literacy to help guide the ongoing efforts of the federal government and private organizations to empower Americans with the financial skills they need to strengthen their long-term economic security. Additionally, the Administration established the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to provide advice on how to maximize the effectiveness of existing private and public sector efforts, and to identify new approaches to increase financial capability. 

State-by-state results from the 2010-11 Challenge are included below:

State

State Average Score

Participating Students

Perfect Scores

Students Who Scored in the Top 20%

Participating Educators in the State

Alabama

66.26%

1,712

5

264

43

Alaska

70.28%

154

2

32

7

Arizona

65.14%

900

1

133

26

Arkansas

68.61%

656

2

117

25

Armed Forces (Europe)

73.59%

110

0

32

11

Armed Forces (Pacific)

74.46%

165

0

51

5

California

66.12%

1,801

13

368

81

Colorado

68.13%

1,476

15

355

44

Connecticut

72.32%

1,675

13

469

62

DC

56.33%

217

0

22

4

Delaware

65.25%

348

0

29

9

Florida

69.51%

4,477

47

1024

85

Georgia

64.60%

1,612

13

268

54

Guam

75.29%

14

0

4

3

Hawaii

73.62%

171

4

58

12

Idaho

80.82%

100

1

44

7

Illinois

71.17%

1,989

26

567

71

Indiana

68.21%

2,186

18

479

63

Iowa

70.02%

2,541

9

574

71

Kansas

70.26%

455

1

121

22

Kentucky

67.75%

607

9

127

23

Louisiana

67.69%

367

1

55

9

Maine

74.14%

234

5

72

15

Maryland

66.83%

2,955

19

533

71

Massachusetts

69.06%

2,642

19

577

71

Michigan

70.51%

1,835

17

514

66

Minnesota

70.88%

1,104

16

290

38

Mississippi

67.00%

123

1

18

9

Missouri

71.81%

2,061

20

568

60

Montana

68.23%

323

1

77

20

Nebraska

72.02%

567

3

142

25

Nevada

64.38%

1,276

6

171

19

New Hampshire

70.28%

655

5

177

24

New Jersey

66.49%

4,876

18

882

106

New Mexico

66.04%

157

1

26

9

New York

69.11%

4,296

20

936

143

North Carolina

66.22%

1,438

7

245

67

North Dakota

70.26%

399

3

94

13

Ohio

67.57%

4,513

23

827

134

Oklahoma

67.03%

1,057

0

163

29

Oregon

75.60%

229

2

77

24

Pennsylvania

68.33%

7,155

40

1563

200

Rhode Island

61.72%

794

3

120

17

South Carolina

67.50%

654

4

128

29

South Dakota

76.28%

145

0

54

12

Tennessee

69.32%

1,602

8

353

38

Texas

66.02%

4,326

21

762

128

Utah

73.35%

631

7

157

22

Vermont

79.88%

145

5

80

7

Virginia

69.07%

7,328

47

1521

180

Washington

71.43%

1,830

16

449

53

West Virginia

61.51%

813

2

120

21

Wisconsin

73.23%

4,399

44

1280

123

Wyoming

69.55%

77

0

23

7

Example questions from the Challenge’s online exam include the following:

1.      Carolina has $5,000 saved from working at different jobs.  She puts her money in a savings account that pays 4 percent per year in interest. How much money will be in her account at the end of the first year and at the end of the second year?

A.     End of first year: $5,100; end of second year:  $5,400.

B.      End of first year: $5,200; end of second year:  $5,400.

C.      End of first year: $5,200; end of second year:  $5,408.

D.    I don’t know.

(Answer: C)

2. Marco went to the grocery store to buy a box of cereal.  The type of cereal he liked came in three different brands and three different size boxes.  To select the brand and the box with the lowest unit cost, he should look at the:

A.    largest cereal box on the shelf.

B.     most popular brand of cereal.

C.     price per ounce of cereal in each box.

D.    I don’t know.

(Answer: C)

Source: treasury.gov


 


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