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New Standards for Information and Technology Literacy, Music, and Science

Friday, November 17, 2017

Key partners across the state have been hard at work updating standards in Information Technology and Literacy; Music; and Science to meet societal expectations and provide educators an updated guide for planning curriculum and lessons. The updated standards also establish grade-band expectations for students across a given subject area.

Standards in the classroom

Academic standards serve as written goals for teaching and learning that tell students, parents, educators, and citizens what students should have learned at a given point in time. Standards in a subject area help ensure that schools offer students the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for success in that subject.

The updated standards seek to provide educators an idea of what the standards could look like in practice. In the revised science standards, early elementary school students are expected to use science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and understand that all organisms have external parts that they use to perform daily functions to make sense of phenomena and solve problems. A lesson to support that standard might have students investigate various ways that animals keep warm in the winter and then use biomimicry to design a method to keep a cup of water warm inside a cooler of ice (or outside).

Similarly, a music standard in elementary school expects students to “explore and demonstrate an understanding of the elements of music by reading, singing and/or playing an instrument.” A lesson to support that standard might have students investigate musical form through performance and describe the different sections of a song.

The Information and Technology Literacy (ITL) standards amplify the human capacity for collaboration, creativity, and communication through the responsible use of technology. Using the standards in the classroom provide educators with different approaches to coding and design thinking. 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.

Next Steps

Looking ahead, the State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council recommended that we pursue a formal rewrite of Wisconsin’s social studies and environmental education standards. Work has begun on revising those standards and a draft will be released early next year for public and educator review.

For more information on updated content, please visit the subject area websites to access the individual standards.

Chairs of the Information and Technology Literacy, Music, and Science Writing Committees

The standards writing committees included subject matter experts to lead the drafting of the standards. A special thanks to the individuals below for their hard work and dedication.


  • Michael Van Pelt, Riverside High School teacher from Milwaukee Public Schools
  • Marie Northup, Principal of Maine Elementary School and Fine Arts Coordinator from the Wausau School District


  • Eric Brunsell, Assistant Professor in the UW-Oshkosh Department of Curriculum and Instruction and member of the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers
  • Christine Pratt, Coordinator of science at Kenosha Unified School District

Information and Technology Literacy

  • Lois Alt, Retired Assistant Superintendent of the D.C. Everest Area School District
  • Beth Clarke, Digital Learning Specialist at CESA 2