IBAT Teach the Teacher Program

The Education Foundation of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas officially launched its 2012 IBAT Teach the Teacher series on Saturday, April 14, 2012, at West Texas A&M University in Amarillo. A pilot program, which was an overwhelming success, was held in October at Baylor University, and three additional IBAT Teach the Teacher programs are planned by the end of 2012 in Houston, San Antonio and East Texas.

The goal of this one-day program, for which participants earned six hours of Texas Education Agency-approved continuing education credit and an incentive stipend, is to provide educators with engaging and practical approaches to teaching money management to high school students. Sixty teachers—impacting more than 8,500 students—from 20 school districts across West Texas registered to attend. Program sponsors include IBAT, Amarillo National Bank, FirstBank Southwest, First National Bank Spearman, Happy State Bank, Herring Bank, PULSE Network and West Texas A&M University.  

“The IBAT Foundation chose to focus on financial literacy because statistics show that Texas trails most of the nation in this important area,” Mary Lange, IBAT Foundation president, said. “Not only do Texans have low credit scores but we also rank 48th in household net worth and 44th in home-ownership rates. Texas community bankers see these trends and set out to do something about them through their Foundation. By learning relevant financial habits in the classroom, high school students can begin the path to financial success that will help break these startling statistics.”

Concepts taught during the program align with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests as well as C-SCOPE standards. Additionally, the Texas Legislature has mandated financial education as a requirement for graduation from a public high school, and beginning in 2013, the TEKS test will include a financial literacy component.

The opening session of the program included a keynote presentation, “Understanding the New World of Credit and How Credit Scores Are Constructed” by Eddie Johansson, the nation’s top expert on consumer credit scores. Johansson, founding president of Credit Security Group, has analyzed more than 6,000 credit reports and educated thousands of lenders and consumers alike about the credit scoring system. Additional sessions focused on specific class-level lesson plans, activities, worksheets and tests, and other evaluation tools. Participating teachers received a local community banker mentor for the school year to serve as an advisor.