Wisconsin State Legislature Statute, High School Graduation Standards:

Wi. Stat. §118.33(1)(a) 1.b.: Graduation requirements include “3 credits of social studies including state and local government.”

Wisconsin Social Studies Performance Standard

5 social studies content standards, include Political Science and Citizenship: Power, Authority, Governance, and Responsibility, which aims to help students to “learn about political science and acquire the knowledge of political systems necessary for developing individual civic responsibility by studying the history and contemporary use of power, authority, and governance.”

Grade 4

  • Standard B–History
    • B.4.1 Identify and examine various sources of information that are used for constructing an understanding of the past, such as artifacts, documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, paintings, architecture, oral presentations, graphs, and charts.
    • B.4.5 Identify the historical background and meaning of important political values such as freedom, democracy, and justice.
    • B.4.6 Explain the significance of national and state holidays, such as Independence Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and national and state symbols, such as the United States flag and the state flags.
  • Standard C–Political Science and Citizenship
    • C.4.1 Identify and explain the individual’s responsibilities to family, peers, and the community, including the need for civility and respect for diversity.
    • C.4.2 Identify the documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, in which the rights of citizens in our country are guaranteed.
    • C.4.3 Explain how families, schools, and other groups develop, enforce, and change rules of behavior and explain how various behaviors promote or hinder cooperation.
    • C.4.4 Explain the basic purpose of government in American society, recognizing the three levels of government.
    • C.4.5 Explain how various forms of civic action such as running for political office, voting, signing an initiative, and speaking at hearings, can contribute to the well-being of the community.

Grade 8

  • Standard B–History
    • B.8.1 Interpret the past using a variety of sources, such as biographies, diaries, journals, artifacts, eyewitness interviews, and other primary source materials, and evaluate the credibility of  sources used.
    • B.8.5 Use historical evidence to determine and support a position about important political values, such as freedom, democracy, equality, or justice, and express the position coherently.
    • B.8.6 Analyze the important political values such as freedom, democracy, equality, and justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
    • B.8.7 Identify significant events and people in the major eras of United States and world history.
  • Standard C–Political Science and Citizenship
    • C.8.1 Identify and explain democracy’s basic principles, including individual rights, responsibility for the common good, equal opportunity, equal protection of the laws, freedom of speech, justice and majority rule with protection for minority rights.
    • C.8.2 Identify, cite, and discuss important political documents, such as the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and landmark decisions of the Supreme Court, and explain their function in the American political system.
    • C.8.3 Explain how laws are developed, how the purposes of government are established, and how the powers of government are acquired, maintained, justified, and sometimes abused.
    • C.8.4 Describe and explain how the federal system separates the powers of federal, state, and local governments in the United States, and how legislative, executive, and judicial powers are balanced at the federal level.
    • C.8.5 Explain how the federal system and the separation of powers in the Constitution work to sustain both majority rule and minority rights.
    • C.8.6 Explain the role of political parties and interest groups in American politics.

Grade 12

  • Standard B–History
    • B.12.1 Explain different points of view on the same historical event, using data gathered from various sources, such as letters, journals, diaries, newspapers, government documents, and speeches.
    • B.12.2 Analyze primary and secondary sources related to a historical question to evaluate their relevance, make comparisons, integrate new information with prior knowledge, and come to a reasoned conclusion.
    • B.12.5 Gather various types of historical evidence, including visual and quantitative data, to analyze issues of freedom and equality, liberty and order, region and nation, individual and community, law and conscience, diversity and civic duty; form a reasoned conclusion in the light of other possible conclusions; and develop a coherent argument in the light of other possible arguments.
    • B.12.6 Select and analyze various documents that have influenced the legal, political, and constitutional heritage of the United States.
    • B.12.18 Explain the history of slavery, racial and ethnic discrimination, and efforts to eliminate discrimination in the United States and elsewhere in the world.
  • Standard C–Political Science and Citizenship
    • C.12.1 Identify the sources, evaluate the justifications, and analyze the implications of certain rights and responsibilities of citizens.
    • C.12.2 Describe how different political systems define and protect individual human rights.
    • C.12.3 Trace how legal interpretations of liberty, equality, justice, and power, as identified in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other Constitutional Amendments, have changed and evolved over time.
    • C.12.4 Explain the multiple purposes of democratic government, analyze historical and contemporary examples of the tensions between those purposes, and illustrate how government powers can be acquired, used, abused, or legitimized.
    • C.12.5 Analyze different theories of how governmental powers might be used to help promote or hinder liberty, equality, and justice, and develop a reasoned conclusion.
    • C.12.6 Identify and analyze significant political benefits, problems, and solutions to problems related to federalism and the separation of powers.
    • C.12.13 Describe and evaluate ideas of how society should be organized and political power should be exercised, including the ideas of monarchism, anarchism, socialism, fascism, and communism; compare these ideas to those of representative democracy; and assess how such ideas have worked in practice.
    • C.12.14 Explain and analyze how different political and social movements have sought to mobilize public opinion and obtain governmental support in order to achieve their goals.
    • C.12.15 Describe and analyze the origins and consequences of slavery, genocide, and other forms of persecution, including the Holocaust.
    • C.12.16 Describe the evolution of movements to assert rights by people with disabilities, ethnic and racial groups, minorities, and women.