Education News

WPM is committed to covering education issues in Wyoming in a thoughtful and thorough way.  We dedicated a page to capture news and information that educates us about education!  This main page captures all education-related stories aired on WPM, and updates you on broad issues.  Check out our “Strengthening Education Reporting” page for stories focused primarily on graduation rates and how to encourage an upward trend in education.

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Open Spaces
3:48 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Cindy Hill Discusses Return To Office, Standards

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill will soon be returning to lead the Wyoming Department of Education.  Unless you’ve been under rock, you know that the Superintendent had her ability to oversee the department removed by the legislature and the governor last year.

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Open Spaces
3:31 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

UW Center Seeks To Improve Literacy

Credit courtesy UW

Last month the University of Wyoming opened a Literacy Research Center and clinic that should enhance literacy at all levels across the state.  It will allow face to face tutoring, train tutors and teachers, and use technology in interesting new ways.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.  

VICKI GILLIS:  “I see this as being on the cutting edge of work in literacy, K-12, and beyond.

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News
9:01 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Governor Mead Does Not Want Canned Science Standards

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says that he wants the State Board of Education to adopt rigorous science standards.

He recently signed into law a budget footnote that prevents the State Board of Education from adopting a set of national standards called Next Generation Science Standards. The governor says his only objective in doing that was to get the board to consider a variety of options as it develops Wyoming education standards.                

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Legislative
7:04 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Hill Rejects Proposal To Return To The Department Of Ed

Credit Cindy Hill Superintendent

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill is rejecting an offer from the state attorney general to narrow the scope of a court case that has to be resolved before she can return to running the state education department.
 
Hill said Tuesday the state constitution is not negotiable.
 
Hill filed suit challenging a state law enacted last year that removed her as head of the state education department. The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled in January the law is unconstitutional.
 

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News
7:07 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Controversial Change In University Of Wyoming Curriculum

A change in University of Wyoming course requirements is causing controversy among faculty and students.

The change affects the general education curriculum of the entire university.  Students seeking a bachelor’s degree have to take the courses required under this program.

The new requirements are scheduled to take effect in the Fall of 2015.  It eliminates diversity, global awareness, and foreign language requirements from the required undergraduate curriculum.  It also reduces science and math requirements. 

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News
2:15 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Report Says Charter School Laws In WY Need Work

A recent report assessing policies on charter schools throughout the nation says Wyoming has a lot of work to do to make charter schools more accessible and successful. The Executive Director of the Wyoming Association of Public Charter Schools is not surprised.  Kari Cline says Wyoming’s rules are bad and stagnant. 

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Open Spaces
4:33 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Legislators Halt Consideration Of Controversial Science Standards

Goshen County Representative Matt Teeters

Right before the close of the session, the Wyoming Legislature slipped a small amendment into the budget bill that’s proving to have some big implications.

The footnote prohibits the State Board of Education from considering a set of national science education standards that it had been reviewing for more than a year, and as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, it raises questions about whose role it is to establish those standards.

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Elections
5:00 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Former Educator Will Run For State Superintendent

A former classroom teacher and former Wyoming Department of Education employee has announced that she will run for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Republican Jillian Balow says she has four goals.

“Enhancing local control in the school districts; increasing collaboration across the state with multiple stakeholders; empowering parents to be more involved with education; and I’m also tackling the political issues that have dominated education in Wyoming.”

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Elections
6:54 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Cheyenne Republican Will Run For State Superintendent

An administrator in the Wyoming Department of Family Services says she is running for state superintendent of public instruction.

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News
5:04 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Superintendent Hill Tries To Return To Dept. Of Ed

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill made a brief appearance at the State Department of Education in an effort to reclaim her job.  The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that a law that removed many of Hill’s duties is unconstitutional.  

Hill walked into the Department Monday morning with two of her staff members.   After those staff members met with Education Director Rich Crandall she left the building.

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News
12:11 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Uinta County Schools To Make More Room For Science Education

Uinta County parents and teachers say they were left out of the decision making process when the school superintendent announced he would scale back art classes in elementary schools to make more time for science.  Superintendent James Bailey says students were only getting about 1 or 2 days of science a week, which wasn’t enough since state assessments will soon be testing kids in science.  But last week, Bailey met with teachers and came up with a possible plan to integrate the two subjects.  He says the plan could actually improve the district’s curriculum.

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News
6:49 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Senate Gives Final Approval To Cameras On School Buses

The Wyoming Senate gave final approval to a bill that sets aside $5 million for school districts to place cameras on school buses to catch motorists who illegally pass stopped buses.

Several senators opposed the bill saying  the focus should be on prevention.  One idea was to add more lights to the buses, so that motorists can't ignore them, but Sheridan Senator Bruce Burns says that won't do much. 

"This is happening 50,000 times a year in this state," Burns says. "I cannot believe that those people are not seeing those buses.  I think they are ignoring that law. "

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Legislative
5:55 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

House Approves Data Safety Legislation

Many parent groups across the nation are expressing concern about the data school districts collect on students and how it’s used. 

Wyoming’s House of Representatives has approved a bill requiring the development of a plan that would help keep data confidential.  Laramie Democrat Cathy Connolly said that parents have expressed a number of concerns.

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Legislative
5:51 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Money Restored To Add Cameras On School Buses

The Wyoming Senate gave initial approval to a bill that would place cameras on school buses. The idea is to capture motorists who illegally pass buses while they are stopped.  The bill allocates $5 million to purchase and install the cameras, an expense the Senate Appropriations Committee opposed.  Senate Appropriations Chairman Eli Bebout suggested that money be spent on prevention and not enforcement.  Education Chairman Hank Coe, of Cody, says prevention hasn't worked.

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Legislative
5:45 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Alternative Schools Bill Passes Wyoming Senate

A bill that would make it easier for alternative schools to be created across the state has received final approval by the Wyoming Senate.  Alternative schools, such as charter schools, attempt to address the special needs of students that may not be successful in more traditional schools.  Under current Wyoming law, it is very difficult to create alternative schools.  The bill will change that.

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Legislative
6:56 am
Tue February 18, 2014

House To Consider Common Core Bill

The Wyoming House will consider a bill that would create a committee of educators and parents to determine if the state should continue to use Common Core State standards in K-12 education.  The bill would also develop new student assessment options.  Several teachers, the school board members, and a business leader spoke on behalf of the common core.  Bill Shilling of the Wyoming Business Alliance says that the bill doesn’t help.

“I don’t see in this legislation any advancement in the end product for our students,” says Shilling.

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Legislative
2:36 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

House Passes Bill To Put Cameras On School Buses

The Wyoming House of Representatives has approved a bill that would require school buses in the state to carry video cameras on the outside.

The cameras would help catch motorists who illegally drive by stopped buses, also known as fly-by's.  Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau opposed the bill, saying that using cameras to spy on people would make him uncomfortable.  Other opponents complained that it should be a local control issue and not something that the state should mandate.

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Topic of the Week
12:22 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

What education reforms would you like to see from the Wyoming Legislature?

What education reforms would you like to see from the Wyoming Legislature?

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

News
3:53 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Wyo. Chief Justice Addresses Superintendent Ruling

Credit Cindy Hill Superintendent

Wyoming Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kite acknowledges that the court's decision in the superintendent of public instruction case has created concern and challenges.

Kite says there's nothing to be done now but for lawmakers, the governor and the court to embrace those challenges and fulfill their respective constitutional obligations.

Kite addressed the issue at the start of her State of Judiciary speech before a joint legislative session Monday.

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News
6:01 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Wyo. Lawmakers Wrestle With Superintendent Ruling

Credit Cindy Hill Superintendent

A panel of Wyoming lawmakers is drafting a bill that could lead to a special legislative session to deal with fallout from the state Supreme Court decision in the superintendent of public instruction case.

The state Supreme Court ruled 3-2 last week that a law enacted last year that took away many of the superintendent's duties was unconstitutional. The court said the Legislature went too far.

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News
6:14 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

State Asks For A Rehearing In Hill Case

The state of Wyoming is asking the Wyoming Supreme Court to consider a rehearing over its ruling concerning State Superintendent Cindy Hill. 

The Court ruled three to two this week that taking away her power to run the State Department of Education was unconstitutional.  Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael asked for the re-hearing Thursday. 

He said in a quote “After reviewing the opinion, the concurrence, and the dissent, I believe additional consideration is merited,” unquote. 

If a rehearing is granted the Supreme Court could stay its ruling.

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Legislative
4:37 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Hill Wins Supreme Court Case and Will Return To Lead Dept. of Ed

The Wyoming Supreme Court has ruled that removing State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill as the head of the Department of Education is unconstitutional.

The decision means that Hill will return to lead the agency and the future of new Director of Education Rich Crandall remains unclear.  A beaming Hill called the law that removed many of her powers as a misguided and unfortunate mistake. Despite some controversy surrounding her management of employees, Hill is excited to return.

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News
11:54 am
Tue January 28, 2014

WY Supreme Court Sides With Superintendent Cindy Hill

A divided Wyoming Supreme Court has ruled that a new law stripping many powers and duties from the state superintendent of public instruction is unconstitutional.

The court's 3-2 ruling Tuesday came in a lawsuit by Republican state schools Superintendent Cindy Hill challenging the law enacted a year ago by the GOP-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Matt Mead.

The law took effect in the middle of Hill's four-year term. The superintendent remained one of the five statewide elected officials but no longer oversaw the Wyoming Department of Education.

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Topic of the Week
8:18 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Do you think your schools prepared you for your life or your job?

Do you think your schools prepared you for your life or your job?

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

Open Spaces
4:37 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

A and S Dean Discusses Her Goals

Credit UW News Service

Last summer Paula Lutz from Montana State University was hired to replace longtime University of Wyoming Arts and Sciences Dean Oliver Walter.  She joins us today on Open Spaces to share her vision for the College.  She speaks with Bob Beck.

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Open Spaces
4:35 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Wyoming Legislature Considers Early Childhood Education Bill

Over the years the legislature has not been overly supportive of efforts to fund early childhood education in Wyoming, mostly because of concerns that the state could interfere with private business.  But members of the Joint Education Committee hope that a new proposal can overcome those concerns.  The committee has drafted a bill that will coordinate all the early childhood efforts that currently exist and provide money to improve services.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.                     

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education
6:37 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Lawmakers Will Continue To Revise Accountability Law

Wyoming lawmakers will be asked to continue to fine tune Wyoming’s new school accountability law and develop ways for the state to help school districts improve learning. 

Districts and schools are now receiving accountability scores and under-performers will work with the state to find ways to improve.  State Education Director Rich Crandall says it will allow the state to look at data and work very closely with school districts and help them meet goals.

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News
5:22 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

McGinity named UW's full time President

After hearing mixed public testimony, the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees have voted 9 to 3 to make Dick McGinity the full time President of the University until June 30th of 2016.

Trustee President Dave Bostrom says McGinity “has demonstrated his ability to lead the institution.” During the meeting Faculty and Staff representatives urged trustees to wait before removing McGinity’s interim tag.  But many, like Dean of Libraries Maggie Farrell said it was time for U-W to move forward.

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News
4:10 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

UW Trustees hear mixed reaction about the UW Presidency

The University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees is considering making Interim  U-W President Dick McGinity the full time President. The Trustees held a public discussion on the issue Thursday and got plenty of advice.

Addressing a room full of people, Staff Senate President Jim Logue told the board that U-W staff would prefer to see the board conduct a formal search for a new president.

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News
7:47 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

UW Trustees to discuss position of university President

Thursday the University of Wyoming trustees are scheduled to discuss the position of UW President.  Many on the UW faculty list serve have expressed concern that Interim President, Dick McGinity, will be appointed to the position permanently without a search. Faculty Senate Chair Colin Keeney warns against leaping to conclusions.

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