A Bridge to Somewhere: Education Panel Focuses on 'Democratizing Digital Learning'

A Bridge to Somewhere: Education Panel Focuses on 'Democratizing Digital Learning'

New Harris Survey Finds 99 Percent of U.S. Adults Support Personal Finance Teaching in High Schools

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Education experts convened today at The New York Times Schools for Tomorrow Conference to discuss the current crisis in education: the gap between information and knowledge. A panel of industry experts led by John Merrow, PBS NewsHour education correspondent, urged public and private sectors to come together to solve the economic and social problems that this learning gap is causing in America.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell; Aditya Bhasin, Bank of America; Joanne Weiss, former Chief of Staff to the U.S. Secretary of Education; Ted Mitchell, NewSchools Venture Fund; and Jennifer Tescher, The Center for Financial Services Innovation, participated in the discussion. Three themes emerged, which panelists urged stakeholders to prioritize:

  • Unlike the past, the expectation is that all people will live their lives digitally. Adapting to this reality is not an option.

  • Technology is changing the learning landscape and can be the great equalizer in ensuring every child has the chance at a quality education.

  • Schools need to embed real world tools into core curricula. Financial education is a powerful and important example.

Bank of America also announced findings from its "Bridging the Knowledge Gap" Survey1, conducted by Harris Interactive, which explored the gap between learning and knowledge in financial education. Key findings included:

  • Americans overwhelmingly expressed support for personal finance to be included in the curriculum in high schools - with virtually all U.S. adults (99 percent) saying they believe it is important for high schools to teach students about personal finance.

  • Unfortunately, roadblocks prevent a good understanding of personal finance: nearly four in five U.S. adults (78 percent) believe it is difficult to learn about personal finance, and 43 percent believe they have missed good financial opportunities due to a lack of financial knowledge.

  • Approximately one in three U.S. adults (32 percent) believes they have made poor financial decisions as a result of their lack of knowledge.

At The New York Times Schools for Tomorrow Conference, Governor Markell stated, "When it comes to financial education, kids are not learning about it in school or at home in many cases. We have created financial education opportunities, such as Delaware Monday Classes in the classroom as well as home-based and employer-based initiatives, to help address this issue in Delaware."

Aditya Bhasin, Consumer Marketing, Analytics and Digital Banking, Bank of America, added, "The success or failure of online learning depends on educating in a way that is digestible. Trust does not come from giving answers but from tools that enable people to make better decisions. We believe private sector banks should be promoting tools for financial literacy, and Khan Academy has been an excellent partner with Bank of America for this."

More findings from Bank of America's "Bridging the Knowledge Gap" Survey include:

Knowledge about personal finance

  • About four in five U.S. adults give themselves a grade of A or B when it comes to personal finance in general (78 percent) or managing their money (82 percent), but only about three in five (59 percent) feel as knowledgeable (i.e., A or B) about the definition of key financial terms and concepts.

  • Though more than four in five adults claim to be knowledgeable about managing their money (82 percent), and nearly two in three (64 percent) say they pay all their bills on time and have no debts in collection, only half of U.S. adults (52 percent) have a budget and keep close track of their spending.

Learning about personal finance

Nearly four in five U.S. adults (78 percent) feel it is difficult to learn about personal finance, primarily because there are too many financial education resources to choose from (38 percent) but also because it takes too much time (35 percent).

  • More than two in five U.S. adults (42 percent) are overwhelmed by the amount of information available about financial issues, and more than one in four (28 percent) believe it is difficult to learn about personal finance because they don't know where or who to turn to.

  • About seven in 10 U.S. adults (71 percent) admit that, when it comes to learning about personal finance, they are only willing to spend enough time to look up answers as they need them.

Importance of personal finance education

  • More than nine in 10 (92 percent) believe - including about three in four who strongly agree (74 percent) that - it is essential for all adults to be financially literate.

  • Approximately nine in 10 U.S. adults (89 percent) agree that, if individual consumers were better able to manage their personal finances, it would have a positive impact on the broader U.S. economy - and nearly two in three (64 percent) strongly agree.

Additional Quotes

Joanne Weiss, former Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Education: "Technology has innovated a lot more in the last 20 years than education has but we are at the start of an 'education revolution.' If we do it right, the curriculum and the way we teach in a few years will not be the same as it is today. Instead of being invasive, technology is making education pervasive. Additionally, we need to begin treating time for learning as a variable and mastery of subjects as a fixed measure."

Ted Mitchell, president and CEO, NewSchools Venture Fund: "With the decrease in technology costs, we have the chance to close the digital divide. One of the exciting things is that the proliferation of technology tools is helping teachers do things in different ways in the classroom and to crowd source information about what is working and what isn't."

Jennifer Tescher, president and CEO, The Center for Financial Services Innovation: "We need to take a more holistic view of education and think more broadly about what kids need to know to succeed in the world. When it comes to certain kinds of learning knowledge and information that are higher order, the ability to connect learning and taking action is very important. In personal finance, success can be measured by the actions adults and children take. The best learning is leaving with the ability to take action."

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. We serve approximately 51 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,300 retail banking offices and approximately 16,350 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users and more than 13 million mobile users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYS: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Visit the Bank of America newsroom for more Bank of America news.



1 The Bridging the Knowledge Gap survey was conducted by landline and mobile telephone within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Bank of America between September 6 and September 9, 2013 among 1,010 adults ages 18+. For complete method statement, including weighting variables, please contact Anne Pace.

Reporters May Contact:
Bank of America
Anne Pace, 631-425-9319

KEYWORDS: United States North America New York


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