This month, thousands of educators from around the country will gather in Denver to discuss public education issues and set policies for the coming year at the National Education Association’s annual meeting.
Wyoming Education Association President Kathy Vetter says one the biggest problems in the state is that teachers' perspectives are often absent from policy initiatives in public education.
“Wyoming educators need our elected officials to reach out and ask the practitioners in the schools what’s working,” Vetter said. “Sometimes the best intended bills have unforeseen consequences that they hadn’t thought of, because they’re not actually in the classroom, on the ground, working with our students.”
Vetter said ‘high-stakes’ standardized testing is at the top of the priority list for Wyoming educators.
“Most educators believe in evaluation, but they want to use that evaluation to improve instruction and to improve student learning,” she said. “If tests are just used as a high stakes for whatever reason—promoting a student from one class to another, deciding whether or not an educator has a job, then we’re not using the test in a manner that helps students.”
School safety protocols and next year’s full implementation of the Common Core State Standards are also on the agenda for the Denver meeting.
Wyoming is sending 35 delegates.