Our Grandparents Learned Personal Finance in School. Why Can’t Our Children?

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By Ted Beck

Ted Beck is president and CEO of the National Endowment for Financial Education, a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans and chairman of the Jump$tart Coalition.

Our grandparents learned more in school about personal finance than our children do now. What they needed to know about the nation’s financial system was included in math class.

I’ve got three editions of “Hamilton’s Essentials of Arithmetic,” a nifty little series from 1919 that focused its lessons on “the broader fields which the child is likely to enter after leaving school–fields in which problems of taxation, insurance, investments and other business and social enterprises make a practical demand on arithmetical knowledge.”

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