Two WEAC members helping develop new computer science standards

Two WEAC members are on a state committee overseeing development of new computer science standards for Wisconsin schools. Among the members of the State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council, which will oversee the Computer Science Standards Writing Committee, are Heather Mielke of Elkhorn, Math Teacher, Burlington High School; and Lisa Sanderfoot of De Pere, Computer and Information Science Teacher, Valley View Elementary School, Ashwaubenon School District.

From the Department of Public Instruction

A panel of Wisconsin experts representing classroom educators, school leaders, and higher education are drafting standards for computer science as the next step in a process to define the knowledge and skills students are expected to learn in that subject during their PK-12 public education.

Computer science standards are the first set of standards that are being developed using Wisconsin’s new standards review process. The process began last August with a public comment period on the need and expected outcomes for computer science standards. The State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council examined those comments and recommended that Wisconsin develop academic standards for computer science.

In authorizing computer science standards development, State Superintendent Tony Evers said, “It is critical that our schools keep pace with changes in what citizens and employers expect from our students and how we teach that material. The technology sector continues to grow in Wisconsin and with that comes an increasing demand for people prepared to work in computer science and related fields. To better meet those needs, the state must provide standards to align how we teach computer science to our students.”

Academic standards, like those being developed for computer science, are a defined set of knowledge and skills that students are expected to know and be able to do. Standards set goals for teaching and student learning that help teachers plan curriculum and develop classroom lessons. In Wisconsin, all state standards serve as a model. Locally elected school boards adopt academic standards in each subject area to best serve the local community.

The Computer Science Standards Writing Committee is working on a set of academic standards that span all grade levels. A draft of the Wisconsin Academic Standards for Computer Science will then be available for a period of open review for feedback from the public, key stakeholders, educators, and the Legislature.

“Rigorous, clearly written academic standards are an important part of setting expectations for what our kids know and learn,” Evers said. “The standards review process gives the public a way to share their thoughts, resulting in a set of standards that reflects Wisconsin’s expectations for its students.”

State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council

  • Mike Beighley, District Administrator, Whitehall School District
  • Kim Brown, Director of Learning, Oshkosh Area School District
  • Rep. Dave Considine, D-Baraboo, Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Jill Gaskell of Blanchardville, Member, Pecatonica School Board
  • Anne Heck, Principal, Lake Geneva Middle School
  • Jenni Hofschulte of Milwaukee, Parent, Milwaukee Public Schools
  • Stephen Kolison, Associate Vice-President for Academic Programs and Educational Innovation, University of Wisconsin System
  • Howard Kruschke of Roberts, President, St. Croix School Board
  • Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, Wisconsin State Senate
  • Heather Mielke of Elkhorn, Math Teacher, Burlington High School
  • Carrie Morgan, Associate Vice President, Wisconsin Technical College System
  • Joseph Moylan, Principal, Oconomowoc High School
  •  Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon,Wisconsin State Senate
  • Desiree Pointer-Mace, Professor, Alverno College, Milwaukee
  • Chris Reader, Director of Health and Human Resources, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce
  • Lisa Sanderfoot of De Pere, Computer and Information Science Teacher, Valley View Elementary School, Ashwaubenon School District
  • Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, R-Fond du Lac, Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Connie Valenza, District Administrator, Platteville School District