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Division for Academic Excellence

Welcome to the Division for Academic Excellence

Photo of a group of children

Assistant State Superintendent
Telephone: (608) 266-7987

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 instructional materials adoption and use, 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;
  • provides standards and supports through high school and the transition to postsecondary work;
  • supports adoption and implementation of high quality resources to assist with student standards implementation;
  • provides comprehensive guidance and resources for serving the needs of students with gifts and talents, English learners, and American Indian students; and
  • provides leadership, professional development and assistance for adoption and implementation of academic and occupational skills standards, curriculum, instructional strategies, and assessment.

The DAE also directs youth and course options, education for employment, academic and career planning, 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, and administrators.

We continue to lead the effort to 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,
  • International partnerships with Germany, China, Japan, Thailand, and France,
  • Global Education Achievement, and
  • Seal of Biliteracy Certificate. 

Additional programs related to academic excellence but managed outside of DPI include:

For questions about this information, contact Penny Brellenthin (608) 267-7101