Wisconsin seeks input on academic standards

in Wisconsin news

Public comment period open for draft standards in music, science, and information and technology literacy

MADISON — With the adoption of standards for computer science, Wisconsin is one of nine states to have established academic standards for this increasingly important subject area. Additionally, as part of the ongoing standards review and revision process, public comment is now open on new draft standards in music, science, and information and technology literacy.

“Our academic standards must keep pace with the progress of our state and nation,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “Establishing clear and rigorous standards across all subjects that reflect current teaching and learning helps ensure that our graduates are prepared for college and career.”

Academic standards establish grade-band expectations for students across a given subject area. For example, a computer science standard in early elementary school expects students to use numbers or symbols to represent data. A lesson to support that standard might have students use a thumbs up or a thumbs down symbol to summarize information within a given dataset. Standards across grade bands guide connections and enrichment, ensuring that students gain a deeper level of learning in the subject area as they progress through school.

In addition to formal adoption of computer science standards, the State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council recommended that the state superintendent pursue a formal rewrite of the state’s music, science, and information and technology literacy standards. For each set of standards, a panel of Wisconsin experts — representing classroom educators, school leaders, and higher education, with input from business owners and groups — was convened to develop new standards.

Comments on the three sets of standards will be collected over a 30-day period through the department’s academic standards website. Two hearings will be held during the comment period to gather additional public feedback. The first hearing is July 17 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) headquarters, 125 South Webster Street, Room P41, Madison. The second hearing, July 18 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., will be in the Cooperative Educational Service Agency 6 Conference Center, Collaborations Conference Room, 2300 State Road 44, Oshkosh.

During the public comment period, the standards will be submitted to the Assembly and Senate Education committees for legislative review and comment. The State Superintendent’s Standards Writing committees will review all comments, both from the public and the Legislature, and incorporate any necessary changes before submitting the standards to the State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council for its review of the process and recommendations. The standards will then be submitted to the state superintendent for approval and publication through the Department of Public Instruction.

In Wisconsin, all state standards serve as a model. Authority to adopt academic standards rests with locally elected school boards. The Wisconsin Standards for Computer Science were the first set of academic standards developed through Wisconsin’s standards review process adopted in 2016.

Computer ScienceComputer Science Subject Area PageComputer Science Standards
MusicMusic Subject Area PageMusic Comment Survey
ScienceScience Subject Area PageScience Comment Survey
Information and Technology LiteracyITL Subject Area PageITL Comment Survey

Public Hearings

July 17 — 3 to 5 p.m.
Department of Public Instruction, Room P41
125 South Webster Street, Madison

July 18 — 4 to 6 p.m.
CESA 6, Collaborations Conference Room
2300 State Road 44, Oshkosh

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