Economics & Personal Finance
News & Announcements
Virginia Economics and Personal Finance Students Again Lead the Nation in Success on the Working in Support of Education (W!se) Financial Literacy Credential
Working in Support of Education (W!se), a national nonprofit, celebrated the 10th anniversary of its ranking, the “100 Best W!se High Schools Teaching Personal Finance” during a virtual ceremony sponsored by Voya Financial® in April 2022. The first place distinction was earned by Academies of West Memphis in West Memphis, Arkansas. Hurley High School from Virginia placed second. High School for Math, Science, and Engineering at CCNY in New York City placed third. High Technology High School located in New Jersey placed fourth. Richmond Community High School in Virginia placed fifth. A complete listing of the 100 Best W!se High Schools teaching personal finance is available.
W!SE Financial Literacy Certification
As outlined in the W!SE Financial Literacy Certification Test Proctoring Guidelines, students may have three attempts per semester to pass the W!SE test. Also, students with disabilities must receive the testing accommodations specified in their IEP or Section 504 Accommodation Plans, following the specific instructions given in the Proctoring Guidelines document. For more information, see Superintendent's Memo 274-16.
Introduction & Background
The 2005 General Assembly approved Senate Bill 950, a bill directing the Virginia Board of Education to "establish objectives for economic education and financial literacy" to be required of all students at the middle and high school levels. As a result, the Code of Virginia §22.1–200.03 required the Board of Education to develop and approve objectives for economics education and financial literacy to be required of all students at the middle and high school levels to "further the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for responsible citizenship in a constitutional democracy." The addition of one credit in economics and personal finance as a graduation requirement for the Standard and Advanced Studies Diplomas, which was to begin with the 9th grade class in 2010, was delayed until the 9th grade class in 2011 due to General Assembly action.
On April 26, 2006, the Board of Education adopted Economics Education and Financial Literacy: Objectives and Correlations to Mathematics and History and Social Science Standards of Learning and Career and Technical Education Competencies (PDF). These objectives are designed to "further the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for responsible citizenship in a constitutional democracy." They are correlated to the Mathematics Standards of Learning, the History and Social Sciences Standards of Learning and the Career and Technical Education competencies.
Instruction in economics and personal finance prepares students to function effectively as consumers, savers, investors, entrepreneurs, and active citizens. Students learn how economies and markets operate and how the United States’ economy is interconnected with the global economy. On a personal level, students learn that their own human capital (knowledge and skills) is their most valuable resource.
Beginning with students entering ninth grade in fall 2011, one standard unit of credit in Economics and Personal Finance is required for graduation with a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma. Students may earn this credit by successfully completing the course at any time during their high school career. Students with disabilities seeking a Modified Standard Diploma may use the course to satisfy one of the three required mathematics credits.
Standards of Learning Documents for Economics & Personal Finance – Adopted 2019
The Standards of Learning for Economics and Personal Finance present economic concepts that help students interpret the daily news, understand how interdependent the world’s economies are, and anticipate how events will impact their lives. On a personal level, students learn that their own human capital (knowledge and skills) is their most valuable resource and that investing in education and training improves the likelihood of their future economic success. The standards also help students develop thinking skills that include analyzing real-world situations, economic reasoning, decision making, and problem solving.
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- www.TeachingMoney VA.org is an online collection of resources which was created to help Virginia’s teachers find quality resources that they can use in teaching Virginia’s Economics and Personal Finance course.
- Virginia Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy – Virginia Jump$tart Coalition is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization representing more than 100 individuals and organizations in business, government, association/nonprofit and education who have joined together to improve the financial literacy of Virginians.
- National Financial Capability Challenge - Educator Toolkit – resources to help students prepare for the National Financial Capability Challenge. The toolkit addresses five core competencies of financial education: earning, spending, saving, borrowing and protecting against risk. The toolkit can be used to help prepare students for the challenge’s voluntary online exam but also for year-round classroom instruction.
- Pool of Teachers for Finance Course - While multiple options exist, the Economics and Personal Finance course (6120-36 weeks) in the business curriculum meets all the economics and personal finance standards of learning. Some school divisions are using the BUS6120 course to meet the required instruction; however, there have been concerns expressed about the availability of teachers. The endorsement codes a teacher must hold on a license to teach the Economics and Personal Finance course have been expanded. See Expanded Pool of Teachers for Finance Course (PDF).
- Training Opportunities for Economics Education & Financial Literacy - To support the Economics Education and Financial Literacy objectives and to help middle and high schools meet the graduation requirement that all students receive instruction in economics and personal finance, professional development is provided by VDOE and The Virginia Council on Economic Education. A schedule with registration information for the sessions currently available and hosted by the Virginia Council on Economic Education is available for download.
- Professional Development Opportunities – Economics and Personal Finance (PDF)
- For more information, visit Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE)