W!SE Honors Top-Performing High Schools in Financial Literacy
In the heart of New York’s Financial Center, education was the main focus and in particular, those schools who’ve made teaching financial literacy a top priority.
Recently, at the New York Stock Exchange, the top 25 percent of U.S. high schools teaching personal finance were recognized by the financial literacy-certifying program, W!SE (Working in Support of Education). Top honors went to New York City’s High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College.
“We hope it’s an incentive for more schools to teach financial literacy,” said Phyllis Frankfort, founder and president of W!SE who spoke to a crowd of fellow board members, administrators, teachers, parents and students about the history of the W!SE organization. Frankfort reflected on the humble beginnings of the W!SE, which started in 2003 in just seven city schools. Today, the W!SE program exists in 28 states, giving many more students access to financial education and the opportunity to become certified financially literate upon passing the test for certification. Frankfort credited the growth of the program to the leadership of David Anderson, executive vice president and Andrea Campbell, program manager.
One of the event speakers, Judith Sams, shared how the personal finance instruction has become an integral part of the Virginia Commonwealth curriculum. Beginning this school year, freshmen are required to pass at least one approved career and technical credential for graduation. To support student success throughout the program, teachers receive professional development, the financial community consistently partners with the schools, and a quality assessment tool measures students’ progress. Sams led this initiative requiring high schools in the Virginia Commonwealth to teach personal finance. She currently serves as program specialist for the Virginia State Department of Education.
“The success of financial literacy instruction is ultimately measured by a change in behavior,” said Sams who hopes for continued economic growth in the next five years.#