Evaluation of the Financial Literacy Pilot Program SY15 Final Report
Prepared for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
In July of 2012, the Massachusetts State Legislature established the Financial Literacy Advisory Committee to advise the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) on the development of a 3-year Financial Literacy Pilot (FLP) program for 11 high schools in 10 Gateway Cities.1 The advisory committee is co-chaired by the commissioner of ESE and the state treasurer, and includes members from the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, the Council on Economic Education, public school districts, financial organizations, professional associations and unions, and Massachusetts institutions of higher education.
This competitive grant program is designed to “equip high school students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become self-supporting and make critical decisions regarding personal finances.”2
Planning grants were awarded to the 11 high schools at the end of March 2013. Teams of educators and community partners worked during April–June of the 2012–13 school year to develop financial literacy programs that aligned with the 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Mathematics and the Economic Education Council’s National Standards for Financial Literacy. The planning grants also supported professional development (PD) for teachers in financial literacy.
The 2013–14 school year was the second year of the grant and the first year of program implementation. The sites continued to work with community partner organizations to develop their programs by offering professional development to teachers and refining curricula. Districts were required to provide a minimum of 12 hours of professional development to instructional staff. During this time, the sites implemented their financial literacy courses and other program components.
For the first and second years of implementation, ESE contracted with the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute (UMDI) to conduct an evaluation of the FLP. The goals of the evaluation’s second year were to inform ongoing FLP programs, document the process and outcomes of the second year of implementation, identify ways in which sites are scaling up their programs, and prepare for additional years of evaluation in the event that program funding is continued.