Nov 16, 2018

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Brookings Institution's Matt Kasman About the State of Financial Education

We have seen some recent progress in states increasing access to financial education. In some cases, we see legislation at the state level (top-down) and in other situations, it is grassroots efforts at the school or district level (bottom-up). Tim talks to the Brookings Institution's Matt Kasman, who is out with a new research report that makes an important contribution to the existing literature on state-level efforts to improve financial education. Matt shares the results of his study as well as insights on the keys to successful implementation (he names states that get it right),  including the importance of investing in teacher professional development. Enjoy!


  • 0:00-0:59 - Introduction
  • 1:00-2:44 - Matt’s current role and a bit about the Brookings Institution
  • 2:45-4:37 -  Motivation for putting the financial education
  • 4:38-7:40 - On making their research distinctive from what else is out there
  • 7:41-10:44 - Early financial education is preventive.
  • 10:45-13:07 - Incorporating financial topics into math concepts in early grades.
  • 13:08-14:07 - Early childhood financial education and setting standards of education.
  • 14:08-15:40 - Utah’s state auditor report on their financial education program.
  • 15:41-17:05 - Assessing quality of programs
  • 17:06-18:38 - About gaps in state legislation and standards
  • 18:39-20:27 - Paying for college
  • 20:28-20:52 - Break
  • 20:53-23:17 - Some states are adopting new requirements for the coming year
  • 23:18-27:34 - 3 stages for successful implementation  
  • 25:55-27:35 - States should do the legwork for the teachers
  • 27:36-28:59 - Nevada stands out with training teachers
  • 29:00-31:39 - State standards are the baseline
  • 31:40-34:39 - Parental involvement is key
  • 34:40-37:59 - Importance of participatory learning
  • 38:00-41:09 - What’s next for them to investigate
  • 41:10-42:21 - Closing

Matt's Current Role(s)

Assistant Research Director at the Center on Social Dynamics and Policy at the Brookings Institution

  • Research focuses on public health & education.
  • Studies the effects of policy & interventions: what works, for whom, and why. To help try and craft more effective policies & interventions.
  • Financial Education is a new topic for them.
  • Brookings is a non-partisan research institution that provides independent and impactful research for policy makers and stakeholders.

Other Resources Mentioned

Other studies on state of financial education:

Editor's Note: NGPF analyzed over 11,000 high school websites for evidence of financial education. Here's what we found!

Notable Quotes

  • “Those that had greater self control between the ages of 3-11 were, in adulthood, more likely to own a home, and have investments, and retirement funds. And adults that had poor self control as children, were more likely to report having money management and credit problems.”
  • “Parents are a strong source of influence for their children’s financial literacy.”

About the Authors

Rita Fung

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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