Education

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 we've aired, 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.

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.

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

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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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.

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.                     

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.

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.

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.

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.

State Superintendent of Schools Cindy Hill denied that her office inappropriately used federal money, denied that they hid documents from legislators, and didn’t understand why some of her employees feared for their jobs. 

Hill investigation continues

Jan 7, 2014

An accounting supervisor with the Wyoming Department of Education told a legislative committee that he had serious concerns about spending within the Department, but that State Superintendent of Education Cindy Hill and others ignored him. 

The committee is investigating charges of wrongdoing against Hill.  Trent Carroll had particular concerns about what he called inappropriate spending of federal money, and he said he shared that with his supervisor, who passed the concerns along to Hill and one of her senior staff members.

A former supervisor with the Wyoming Education Department is accusing Schools Superintendent Cindy Hill of misusing federal money and improperly implementing a reading program when she ran the department.  

A special Wyoming House Committee is holding hearings this week to determine if Hill committed any impeachable offenses.  Gail Eisenhauer testified that Hill and her leadership team were difficult to work for.

Following the resignation of Bob Sternberg, Dick McGinity has taken over reins at the University of Wyoming as Interim President. 

McGinity was simply a faculty member at UW until Sternberg promoted him to be part of the administration and now he’s running the show.  Among his first duties is getting UW priorities through the legislature.  He tells Bob Beck that includes pay raises.

Wyoming has the fifth lowest average debt in the nation for students who graduated from college in 2012. That’s according to a recently published study by the Institute for College Access and Success. In Wyoming the average debt was just over $21,000.

Director of Student Financial Aid at the University of Wyoming, Joanna Carter, says there are several things that keep borrowing relatively low at UW.

According to the US Department of Education, US students’ rankings in math and science have slipped.  What can be done to correct this?

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As lawmakers wrap up their investigation of State Superintendent Cindy Hill, Hill says she’s done nothing wrong.  A special legislative committee is currently reviewing claims that Hill misspent money when she was in charge of the State Department of Education, an allegation she denies.  Hill contends that lawmakers investigating the charges have not let her see evidence or allowed her to respond.

It’s been a long year for State Superintendent Cindy Hill.  After legislators determined that she was undermining some of their education reform efforts, they voted to take away her ability to run the state department of education and assigned her to less essential tasks. 

Later a report suggested mistreatment of employees, possible misuse of the state aircraft, and misuse of Department of Education money.  That last piece is being investigated by a legislative committee who is trying to determine if impeachment charges should be brought against Hill. 

This month Jackson Hole High School will host the annual Teton County Model United Nations conference. Student participants from across Wyoming and Idaho will research and debate pressing global issues, including security and human rights.

Sheridan High School social studies teacher, Andrew Metcalf, says that the model UN not only helps deepen students’ education, but might also open doors for them in the future.

trib.com

Laramie Senator Phil Nicholas says he’s sad and disappointed to see Bob Sternberg depart from his position as President of the University of Wyoming so quickly. Sternberg resigned on Thursday after less than 5 months on the job. 

www.beaumontenterprise.com

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees announced UW President Bob Sternberg’s resignation on Thursday. The Trustees spent Thursday and Friday in meetings, but President of the Board David Bostrom sat down to talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov about what comes next. Bostrom says the Trustees didn’t try to convince Dr. Sternberg to stay.

trib.com

It’s not often that a president leaves a university as quickly as Bob Sternberg, but it has happened before at UW. Phil Roberts spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden. He says there are often times that people are just not the right fit for a particular position.

For more on UW President Bob Sternberg’s resignation, click here.

Willow Belden

University of Wyoming President Bob Sternberg has resigned, after less than five months in office.

He said in a statement that “as wonderful as the University of Wyoming is, it may not be the best fit for me as president.”

Sternberg had come under fire from members of the campus community after several deans and other top officials were replaced.

University of Wyoming President Bob Sternberg has resigned. The decision was announced in a press conference this evening. The Board of Trustees says the decision was Sternberg’s – that he was not asked to resign.

Sternberg had come under fire from members of the campus community, who were upset about the departures of several deans and other top officials.

What are your thoughts on bilingual education in Wyoming schools?

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The Wyoming Department of Education is putting together a board of teachers to offer advice on several education issues. They’re looking for feedback on teacher training options, classroom needs and potential policy changes.

Chief Strategy Officer for the Department of Education, Leighton Thomas says teachers have valuable firsthand knowledge of the conditions, strengths and needs of the state’s schools.

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