Though the federal government, banks, schools, and many others are trying to teach Americans about their finances, few data are collected on the effectiveness of the programs.
No one even knows how many Americans lack a bank account. A common statistic tossed around is 10 million households, but that figure has not changed in years, and its original credibility is also suspect.
Without a way to measure progress, it is easy to question whether all the effort at financial education is worthwhile.
"We've made progress, but there's a long way to go to in establishing a scientific approach to financial education," said Stephen Brobeck, the executive director of the Consumer Federation of America.
"We have more financial …