Thanks to David Anderson, Executive Vice-President at w!SE (Working in Support of Education) for joining me recently on the NGPF podcast show. David joined w!SE in 2007. He oversees w!se’s national financial literacy programs and, with the President, for partnerships, development and marketing. He previously had a career on Wall Street.

W!SE is a leading educational not-for-profit. At the heart of its offerings is a family of financial literacy certification initiatives:

  • The Financial Literacy Certification program helps high school students acquire essential personal finance knowledge and skills;
  • The Certification in Personal Finance strengthens educators’ credentials to teach personal finance; and
  • MoneyW!SE provides a pathway for survivors of domestic violence to become financially independent.

These initiatives differ in scope and target audience, but all share a common thread – an end-of-program, standardized assessment of personal financial knowledge and a certification for those who master the subject matter.

Each year, w!SE publishes the 100 Best w!se High Schools Teaching Personal Finance to honor schools of excellence in personal finance education across its national network. Separately, w!se also recognizes teachers (Gold Star teachers) and schools (Blue Star schools) based on student performance on its Certification Test.

Listen to this podcast to hear David answer such questions as:

  • What is the process for schools to sign-up with w!SE? What programs and resources are included?
  • What personal finance topics are most challenging for students to master? for teachers to teach?
  • In addition to their assessment tool, how else does w!SE measure the impact of their personal finance work?
  • What does it take to become a “Blue Ribbon” school?


0:00~0:52 – Introduction
0:52~4:24 – David’s Background
4:24~5:23 – Managing a non-profit
5:23~8:00 – What programs does w!SE offer?
8:00~9:10 – How can schools/teachers sign up for the w!SE program?
9:10~11:27 – How much does the w!SE program cost?
11:27~15:48 – How does the w!SE assessment map to national and state standards?
15:48~21:07 – Based on your assessment results, what are most challenging topics for students to master?
21:07~24:47 – For “Blue Ribbon” schools, what are the ingredients for success?
24:47~28:13 – What behavioral trends are you measuring in addition to your standardized test?
28:13~33:54 – How can we improve financial education in the United States?
33:54~34:55 – What are topics that teachers find challenging to teach?
34:55~36:54 – What does the future hold for w!SE?