Testing the Economic Literacy of K-12 Teachers: A State-Wide Baseline Analysis
27 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2007
Date Written: February 2007
Without a National Council on Economic Education affiliated state council, Mississippi lacked a formal economic education advocate for more than two decades. A new state council along with two university-based centers have recently undertaken an aggressive push to elevate the role and importance of economics in Mississippi's K-12 school systems. This study examines the level of economic literacy, as measured by standardized test scores, exhibited by K-12 teachers in the state near the beginning of this endeavor. A standard regression model is estimated to reveal those factors associated with the teachers' test scores. The results suggest that teachers, particularly elementary teachers, had relatively low levels of initial economic understanding. The degree of economic literacy was found to vary across gender, racial ethnicity, age, annual family income, and the previous levels of formal economics instruction. Additionally, teachers who taught economics as a separate discipline and those without a broad portfolio of teaching responsibilities scored higher, holding all else constant.
Keywords: economic literacy, teachers, public schools, Mississippi
JEL Classification: A21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation