The standards presented in this volume provide guidance for the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and St. Louis in developing materials and programming for their economic education outreach programs. Every attempt has been made to put together a set of standards that outline the important principles that a thorough understanding of the Federal Reserve System entails. However, the design of a presentation for teachers about the Federal Reserve System is an art and not a mere listing of standards and benchmarks. Naturally, presentations and programs will include or emphasize some standards and pass over others. Of course, a teacher who is exposed to a large variety of presentations over time will eventually be exposed to the vast majority of the standards and benchmarks below.
The standards have been written with benchmarks for 8th grade and 12th grade students and for secondary school teachers. The benchmarks for each level have been designed to include what students and teachers should know if extensive knowledge about the Federal Reserve System is the goal. Needless to say, any teacher understands the idea of opportunity cost when deciding how much time to devote to one topic area such as the Federal Reserve System and monetary policy. The construction of lesson plans by teachers is also an art, and not a mere recitation of standards and benchmarks. Each teacher must tailor his or her lesson plans to the match the needs, interests and abilities of the students in his or her class.
Naturally, the functions and structure of the Federal Reserve System evolve over time to meet the challenges of our ever-changing economy. Thus, these standards and benchmarks should be periodically evaluated and modified to remain current and correct.