Time Magazine January 14, 2010
Even as the financial-literacy movement has gained steam over the past decade, scores have been falling on tests that measure how savvy students are about things such as budgeting, credit cards, insurance and investments. A 2008 survey of college students conducted for the JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy found that students who'd had a personal-finance or money-management course in high school scored no better than those who hadn't.
"We need to figure out how to do this the right way," says Lewis Mandell, a professor at the University of Washington who after 15 years of studying financial-literacy programs has come to the conclusion that current methods don't work.
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Lewis "Lew" Mandell is Professor of Finance Emeritus and former Dean of the School of Management at SUNY - Buffalo. He has also served as Dean of the Business School at Marquette University and, most recently, as the Kermit O. Hanson Professor of Finance and Managerial Economics at the University of Washington's Foster School of Business in Seattle, from 2008 tp 2011. He is currently a Senior Fellow in the Aspen Institute's Initiative on Financial Security in Washington, DC.
Lew has devoted his career to the study of consumer financial behavior, attitudes and literacy. Best known in recent years for his work on the financial literacy of young Americans, he has demonstrated rather conclusively that financial education, as currently administered in the classroom, does not appear to have any lasting impact on financial literacy.
He began his academic career at the University of Michigan's Survey Research Center where he ran the nationwide Survey of Consumer Finances (now run by the Fed) and wrote the first of his twenty one books (including three on credit cards). Lew has also been Professor of Finance and Political Science (and Associate Dean) at the University of Connecticut and has been a Visiting Professor at Tel Aviv and Peking Universities. In the late 70's he served at Director of Economic Research for the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency in Washington, D.C. He was the founding editor of Financial Services Review, the leading academic journal in the area of personal financial management.
In 2004 his work in financial literacy was recognized by his receipt of the William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award, the highest national award in financial literacy. He won the State University of New York's Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2008.