Los Angeles – May 2, 2011– Financial literacy empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE, Inc. (HOPE) announced the findings of the Banking on Our Future (BOOF) Learning Assessment administered in the fourth quarter of 2010 through their new Office of Innovation, Research and Assessment. The Office is responsible for measuring success of the HOPE portfolios as well as establishing benchmarking baselines for financial literacy. The office’s Director, Jennifer Thibeaux remarked, “this quarter’s findings signals the rebirth of innovation and assessment strategies for the Banking on Our Future program and provides benchmarking information and a glimpse into the financial literacy learning capacity of youth when an innovative intervention is applied.” The leading reason for the measurement and analysis is to understand the severity of the financial disconnect in youth as well as to understand the impact of an aggressive intervention.
HOPE continually educates and measures youth understanding and learning progress in financial literacy and dignity. Key financial literacy questions included on the assessment are Financial Esteem; Connecting Responsible Finances & Dignity; Importance of Money; Origin of Money and an understanding the Earning Money Process; Equation of Earning Money; Definition of a Budget and the Outcome of Budgeting; Keeping money safe and the benefits of a Savings Account; Credit Rating Structure; and Good Investment Strategies. The findings will aid policymakers and educators in understanding the value of financial literacy education and help them pinpoint where improvements are needed and where future initiatives should be targeted.
Distributing the assessment as a random convenience sample to over 1500 students across the United States, youth grades 4-12 were assessed. Benchmark findings of the assessment administered prior to the intervention revealed a major disconnect between dignity and financial literacy and rights particularly within the elementary school youth. Additionally, both elementary and high school youth failed to understand the origins of money, budgeting, and the credit system in the pre-assessment phase. Findings and analysis revealed the following:
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