In a thicket of complex policy prescriptions for the nation’s student-debt crisis, few carry the homespun appeal of the financial-literacy seminar. Like a warm bowl of chicken noodle soup, lawmakers, families and college officials increasingly savor the simple notion that students might be less broke if they better understood how to manage their money.
But a provocative recent paper, which drew attention on social media this week, dragged the seemingly innocuous subject of money management into much thornier territory, casting popular financial-literacy programs as racially insensitive and downright degrading to low-income minorities. “The Political Economy of Education, Financial Literacy, and the Racial Wealth Gap,” written by a pair of public-policy professors, argues that the political appeal of basic financial training perpetuates a false narrative that students of modest means have run up debts not because they are poor, but rather because they are irresponsible….
Read more in The Chronicle of Higher Education.