Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs


James Andrews

Publication Date



Student achievement on the Jump$tart (or JumpStart) financial literacy assessment forms the basis for the Presidents Advisory Council's declaration that America's high school graduates are not financially literate and as a result, America's financial markets and standard of living are at risk. Their recommendations to address this problem include compulsory financial literacy education for all Americans. The espoused normative economic policy goal of compulsory financial literacy education is increased wealth for all Americans. The purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which the Jump$tart assessment measures knowledge that leads to increased national wealth. I researched the evolution of our economic paradigm over time to determine how wealth is created. From my study of the Socratic dialogue Oeconomicus, the work of philosophers from the Age of Enlightenment including Adam Smith and Jean Jacque Rousseau, Alfred Marshall, and contemporary philosopher Thomas S. Kuhn, I sought to discover how humankind is thought to increase wealth, health, societal welfare and social justice for all people. From that research it became evident that the only method of increasing national wealth is through improving a society's breadth and scope of knowledge of man's environment and of man himself. My analysis of the Jump$tart assessment reveals that the authors of the test did not draw on the collective knowledge of economists and philosophers in preparing the exam. Instead, they assess the extent to which students memorized a few economic rules-of-thumb and the names and attributes of products offered by the financial services firms who are the benefactors of the Jump$tart organization.'


Financial literacy--Study and teaching (Secondary)--Evaluation, Finance, Personal--Study and teaching (Secondary)--Evaluation

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Arlie Woodrum

Second Committee Member

Allison M. Borden

Third Committee Member

Ramiro Jordan

Fourth Committee Member

Patricia E. Boverie