Hello Teachers and Maryland Council on Economic Education Supporters!
We, at the Maryland Council on Economic Education, hope you have had a great summer! This summer we have been busy creating, revising and aligning lesson plans and programming for the 2015/2016 school year to help you meet the demand for College and Career Ready, and PARCC “friendly” teaching resources. Expect to see the new and revised resources published beginning September 1, 2015, on www.econed.org/resources/. To see a sampling of our offerings and web site changes, check out the list below:
- We devised a two to three week Financial Literacy Unit for High School to support those teachers tasked with teaching Personal Financial Literacy Curricula under time constraints.
- Staff authored a new high school lesson plan called “What is Credit and How Does It Affect Financial Decisions?”
- Competition dates for the year have been set; Econ Challenge, H.S. and M.S. Personal Finance Challenge, and A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Poster Contest.
- Mark your calendars for the kick off of the Stock Market Game TM for grades 4th-12th, beginning in September 2015. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
- A revised k-12 matrix of financial literacy lessons linked on both the MCFL and MCEE website.
- We have aligned most if not all of our lessons plans to correlate with Maryland College and Career Ready Standards.
MCEE has also kept abreast of new developments and topics in the world of economic and financial education. Of particular note are several articles on credit and debt that may be of interest to both you and your students. Since we reside in an area (the Maryland/D.C. Metro Area) where there are a considerable number of military, government and contractor jobs that require security clearances, you may want to emphasize with your students how credit scores and delinquent debt can impact these clearances.
According to the Department of Defense’s Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information, “financial considerations” such as excessive or delinquent debt, can lead to either the denial or loss of a security clearance (Fay, 2015). The rationale behind this is that debt delinquency suggests that the individual in question may have certain character traits that predisposes a person to certain behaviors that could potentially compromise sensitive information or security (Fay, 2015). That being said, if the person in question has made a good faith effort to correct the situation, and or, that the delinquency was the result of circumstances beyond the individual’s control, the security clearance may not necessarily be declined. For more information on this topic, check out the articles cited below “How Being in Debt Affects Military Clearances”, and “The Impact of Delinquent Debt on Security Clearances”.
Another article, published in the July 30th, 2015 edition of Consumer Reports, describes how credit scores affect car insurance premiums. In fact, according to a two year study conducted by Consumer Report, insurers are more likely to base premium pricing on your credit behavior rather than your driving record (Blyskal, 2015). Probably the most disconcerting information in the article is that unlike credit reporting agencies, insurers are generally not as transparent about how they arrive at an individual’s premium pricing. For example, the article states that the insurer may “cherry-pick 30 of 130” possible variables used on a credit report to determine premium pricing. And, that they also use this information to “predict” the “likelihood of filing a claim” (Blyskal, 2015).
The article goes on to detail that some insurers engage in what is known as “price optimization”; a practice where insurers assess clients’ shopping behaviors to determine how likely they are to switch companies when prices are raised (Blyskal, 2015). Certainly, these articles may help reinforce the importance of building those skills necessary to become an informed consumer and may help grab your students’ attention about the relevance of financial literacy.
Lastly, check out the relaunch of www.econedlink.org , CEE’s free economic and financial education teacher resource for k-12 educators! The site is now even more “user-friendly” and technology savvy!
Blyskal, J. (2015, July) www.consumerreports.org. Secrets of Car Insurance Prices. Retrieved on August, 3, 2015, from, www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/07/car-insurance-prices/index.htm#
Fay, B. (2015). www.Debt.org. How Being In Debt Affects Military Clearances. Retrieved on August 3, 2015, from https://www.debt.org/veterans/military-security-clearances/.
Henderson, W. (2008). www.news.clearancejobs.com. The Impact of Delinquent Debt on Security Clearances. Retrieved on August 3, 2015, from https://news.clearancejobs.com/2010/01/28/the-impact-of-delinquent-debt-on-security-clearances/