Division for Academic Excellence

Sheila J. Briggs, PhD

Assistant State Superintendent

Telephone: (608) 266-3361 FAX: (608) 267-9275

Welcome to the Division for Academic Excellence


“It’s both an exciting time and a challenging time for public education. We’re changing what children learn, how they’re taught and tested, and how schools and educators are evaluated. For our kids and for their futures, it’s the right thing to do.”

– Tony Evers, PhD, State Superintendent


Our Mission

The Division for Academic Excellence (DAE) is committed to ensuring that the state superintendent’s vision of every student becoming college and career ready becomes a reality for Wisconsin’s children. Our sole purpose is to increase the success of Wisconsin school children—whether that is through licensing and training the teachers, supporting the curriculum, or making sure our schools are treating children fairly.

Our Charge

Our division provides leadership and professional development regarding curriculum development, academic and technical skills standards, and instructional methods and strategies, as well as professional learning and support to a variety of content area educators. A service orientation and culturally responsive view guide the teams’ work to provide technical assistance to educators, parents, community and professional organizations.

Student Support:  We are responsible for programs and services having a direct impact on classrooms and, ultimately, on students; to this end, our division:

  • provides a cradle-to-career focus for instructional leaders and educators through work done by the Office of Early Learning
  • provides standards and supports through high school and the transition to postsecondary work;
  • curates and creates high quality resources to assist with Common Core State Standards implementation;
  • provides resources and technical assistance around career and technical education standards and other core academic standards;
  • provides comprehensive guidance and resources for serving the needs of students with gifts and talents;
  • provides leadership, professional development and assistance for development and implementation of academic and occupational skills standards, curriculum, instructional strategies, and assessment.

The DAE also directs youth options, education for employment, the career and technical student organizations, and administers the high school equivalency/general educational development (HSED/GED) program for state residents who have not completed high school.

Educator Support:  Our division reviews and approves educator preparation programs and licenses teachers, pupil services personnel, administrators, and library professionals.  We are also leading efforts to develop and implement a statewide educator effectiveness system, where all educators will be evaluated based upon multiple measures.  This complex system factors in educator practice and student performance in providing feedback to educators around their strengths and areas for improvement.  Additionally, we provide technical assistance and resources for educators to support their continued professional growth.

Program Support:  To ensure the best possible college and career ready outcomes for students, our division processes waiver requests and monitors school district compliance with statutory and administrative code requirements, including Office of Civil Rights compliance; we administer federal programs that provide assistance for world languages, advanced placement, and alternative education.

We administer funds for school districts under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 to enhance and improve career and technical educational programs.  The DAE also administers part of the state and federally funded Bilingual/English as a Second Language Program.

We also administer a variety of programs that provide assistance and grants to public school students and teachers on the basis of merit and need, as well as consultation and leadership for multicultural education.

These programs include:

  • American Indian Studies Program,
  • American Indian Language and Culture Education,
  • Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Award Program,
  • Presidential Awards for Mathematics and Science Teachers,
  • U.S. Senate Youth Program,
  • Urban Teacher World Program, and
  • International partnerships with Germany, China, Japan, Thailand, and France.