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Department of Public Instruction introduces newly revised academic standards

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 6:36 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) -

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released newly revised academic standards for English language arts, financial literacy, and physical education. The standards give teachers, students, and parents benchmarks for where students should be for their grade level and specific needs.

The standards are scheduled to be reviewed every seven years. The newly revised standards for these disciplines started to be reviewed by the public, legislators, businesses, and teams of educators, including many from districts in north-central Wisconsin.

DPI Director of Academic Standards, John Johnson said districts will be taking the next two months to review more than 200 pages of newly revised standards. However, he cautioned not to expect any standards to be fully implemented by schools this school year. Typically, it takes two-three years for that. Schools have to have some form of academic standards by law but do not have to take on the state’s version, however, most do.

For English language arts, some of the new standards emphasize using reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language to recognize, value, and sustain a student’s identity and the identities of others. Another focuses on students’ ability to be flexible with their language and how they use it depending on the scenario they are in. Yet another looks at whether students can critically evaluate what they’re reading, writing, hearing, or saying.

“It’s promoting the instruction, it’s the foundation of what students will learn around comprehending and creating text,” he said.

One of the new standards for financial literacy is the first academic standard of its kind in the nation, it’s called ‘financial mindset.'

“That means life strategies. That means financial psychology, and that means digital awareness,” Johnson explained. “When you read adverts around bank offers, around loan offers, that you have an ability to be aware of what this means and what’s good and what’s not good.”

For physical education, Johnson said it no longer looks like what many adults had back in grade school. Now, it is learning about overall well-being with a focus on mental health, developing a growth mindset, and learning what it means to be well.

“At the end of the day what we’d really like from these physical educaiton standards is for students to develop into adults that are aware and that work towards active, healthy living,” he stated.

Copyright 2020 WSAW. All rights reserved.

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