The banking industry, and your association, are seen as experts in the field. When the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction initiated its process for reviewing and revising academic standards for social studies back in August 2017, WBA was asked to contribute that expertise to the time-intensive process of drafting new standards.
In October 2017, WBA Operations Manager and Senior Writer Amber Seitz, who also serves as the financial literacy coordinator for the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation, received a formal invitation from the state superintendent's office to be a member of the writing committee for the new standards. WBA was invited to participate to provide non-educator expert input, particularly related to the economics strand of the standards.
On Nov. 6, 2017, the 42-member writing team assembled in Madison to discuss the writing process, identify major themes within each of the five social studies strands (behavioral sciences, economics, geography, history, inquiry practices and processes, and political science), and begin working on an initial draft of the standards document. The writing team included educators from all grade levels, geographic regions, district sizes, and levels of classroom experience and included non-educator industry leaders, district administrators and curriculum coordinators, and representatives from higher education and special education. The leadership team for the writing group included DPI's John Johnson, Ph.D. and Kris McDaniel, as well as co-lead writers Che Kearby, Kenosha Unified School District, and Dr. Corey L. Thompson, Cardinal Stritch University.
For the next two months, each content strand team worked separately to create polished drafts of their standards, and on Jan. 31, 2018 a draft of the standards was released for public review and provided to the education committees of the Wisconsin Legislature. Public hearings took place February 12 in Oshkosh and February 13 in Madison. Then, in early March, the full writing team re-convened to review every public comment received and incorporate the necessary changes to the standards document.
On March 22, McDaniel and seven members of the writing team (including Seitz) presented the standards draft to the State Superintendent's Standards Review Council. With the council's support, Superintendent Tony Evers is expected to formally adopt the new standards in late spring/early summer.