MADISON — Citizens, parents, students, educators, and other school personnel can submit comments on draft academic standards for theatre, one of the more than two dozen subject areas that are part of a years‑long review process to update standards that set goals for teaching and student learning in an academic subject.
Written by a panel of Wisconsin experts representing PK-12 classroom educators, school leaders, and higher education, with input from business owners and groups, the standards establish grade-band expectations for students. For example, a theatre standard for public presentation at the high school level might be taught by having students perform a scene from a play complete with stage blocking and other expressive techniques. At the middle school level, a standard on theatre production expects students to examine how theatre relates to themselves, others, and the world in historical and modern times.
The State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council recommended in April that the state’s theatre standards be rewritten. The previous standards for theatre were published in 1997. Sara J. Danke Lukaszewicz, drama and social studies educator in the Wisconsin Rapids Public School District and past president of the Alliance for Wisconsin Theatre Education, and Kristi Ross-Clausen of Appleton, former K-12 and University of Wisconsin-Madison theatre educator, co-chaired the Theatre Standards Writing Committee.
The public hearing on draft theatre standards will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. July 17 in room P41 of the Department of Public Instruction headquarters (GEF 3), 125 South Webster Street, Madison. In lieu of attending the hearing, comments may be made through an online survey. The public comment survey will be open for 30 days. During the comment period, the draft standards will be submitted to the Assembly and Senate Education committees for legislative review and comment.
Following the comment period, the Theatre Standards Writing Committee will review all comments, both from the public and the Legislature, and incorporate necessary changes before submitting the standards to the State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council. After that council’s review of the process and recommendations, the state superintendent will consider the standards for approval and publication through the DPI. In Wisconsin, all state standards serve as a model. Authority to adopt academic standards rests with locally elected school boards.
NOTE: More information about theatre education, including links to the standards and comment survey, can be found on the department’s theatre webpage.