WBA participates on model academic standards writing team

The banking industry, and your association, are seen as experts in the field. When the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction initiated its process for reviewing and revising academic standards for personal financial literacy back in May 2019, WBA was asked to contribute that expertise to the time-intensive process of drafting new standards. 

WBA Operations Manager and Senior Writer Amber Seitz, who also serves as the financial literacy coordinator for the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation, received a formal invitation from the state superintendent's office to be a member of the writing committee for the new standards (Seitz also served on the writing committee for the social studies standards in 2017). WBA was invited to participate to provide non-educator expert input on these standards, which will guide school districts across the state on creating curriculum related to personal finance and financial literacy for students in grades K-12. 

On May 8, 2019, the 30-member writing team assembled in Madison to discuss the writing process, identify major themes within each of the six financial literacy strands (financial mindset, education and employment, money management, saving and investing, credit and debt, and risk management and insurance), and begin working on an initial draft of the standards document. The writing team included educators from all grade levels, geographic regions, district sizes, and levels of classroom experience and included non-educator industry leaders, district administrators and curriculum coordinators, and representatives from higher education and special education. The leadership team for the writing group included DPI's Kris McDaniel, Dave Thomas, and Diane Ryberg, as well as co-lead writers Joel Chrisler, Sauk Prairie High School, David Mancl, DFI director of the Office of Financial Literacy, and Beth Ratway, American Institutes for Research. 

Over the next seven weeks, each content strand team worked separately to create polished drafts of their standards to be circulated for stakeholder feedback. On Jan. 28, 2020 a draft of the standards was released for public review and provided to the education committees of the Wisconsin Legislature. Public hearings took place Feb. 10 in Oshkosh and Feb. 11 in Madison. Then, on March 4, the full writing team re-convened to review every public comment received and incorporate the necessary changes to the standards document. 

On March 17, members of the writing team presented the standards draft to the State Superintendent's Standards Review Council. With the council's support, Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor is expected to formally adopt the new standards in late spring/early summer.