Math professor leading academic standards review initiative

Erick Hofacker UWRFOctober 13, 2020 – University of Wisconsin-River Falls mathematics Professor Erick Hofacker is helping to raise the bar in the instruction of math in Wisconsin public schools. By request of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Hofacker is leading an initiative that involves opening up content standards for mathematics. 

“I think we have some great math standards already, especially the Standards for Mathematical Practice,” said Erick Hofacker. “I’m hopeful we can make appropriate updates that K-12 math teachers find useful and will positively impact math students in our state.”

Wisconsin Academic Standards specify what students should know and be able to do in the classroom. The standards serve as goals for teaching and learning. Locally elected school boards adopt academic standards in each subject area to best serve their local community. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction offers a detailed explanation of the Academic Standards review process on its website.

A first draft of the recommended revisions is expected by the end of the month. To follow will be a public hearing in January before action by the Standards Review Council in March 2021. Once the revisions are in place, they will remain for the next seven years. Hofacker is co-chairing committees for both grades 6-8 and grades 9-12.

“We have a great opportunity to revise our current state math standards and have a meaningful impact on the mathematics that is taught in our K-12 schools in the State of Wisconsin,” adds Hofacker. “I’m really proud and honored to be chairing these two committees and working with so many great educators from across our state.”

UWRF Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies Mike Harris said Hofacker’s extensive experience positions him well to lead this work.

“Erick has been teaching mathematics in the UW System for nearly 20 years. His outstanding contributions, leadership and service to the mathematics education community reflect his deep commitment to students,” Harris said.

Hofacker received the Wisconsin Mathematics Council’s 2019 Distinguished Mathematics Educator Award, a lifetime achievement award and the most prestigious award bestowed by the council. He is the director of the undergraduate and the graduate mathematics education programs at UW-River Falls.

Email with questions about the academic standards review process.

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