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 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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News
8:53 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

UW president resigns, no decisions yet on new search process

Dick McGinity has been named Interim President of the University of Wyoming.
Credit 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.

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Sternberg
5:31 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

University of Wyoming president resigns

Bob Sternberg

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.

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Topic of the Week
3:51 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

What are your thoughts on bilingual education in Wyoming schools?

What are your thoughts on bilingual education in Wyoming schools?

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

News
7:26 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Department of Education seeks educators to provide feedback

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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News
6:14 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

UW President Bob Sternberg says he's available to discuss concerns

The President of the University of Wyoming, Bob Sternberg, says he understands that the turnover of several administrators is unsettling, but says that most of the resignations have been coincidence.  Sternberg says he was directly involved in the resignations of Provost Myron Allen and Education Dean Kay Persichitte, but other administrator resigned on their own. 

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Open Spaces
4:11 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

UW President Bob Sternberg responds to criticism

University of Wyoming President Bob Sternberg

It’s been a rough week for UW President Bob Sternberg.  He’s been taken to task by several UW faculty on University list serves over his handling of a number of issues, but people have expressed the most concern over the turnover of some U-W administrators. 

Most recently the dismissal of the College of Education Dean and the resignation of the Law School Dean.  Sternberg gives Bob Beck his perspective on the controversy.

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News
4:56 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Wyoming students outperform the national average in Math and Reading

Wyoming’s fourth and eighth grade students outperformed the national average in reading and mathscores in the National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAPE scores.

The test is administered every two years. Wyoming did especially well in 4th grade math where it improved by three points from 2011 and five points from 2009.   State Education Director Rich Crandall is pleased.

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News
9:25 am
Tue November 5, 2013

University faculty on edge after another dean’s resignation

University of Wyoming College of Law students delivered an open letter Monday to UW President Bob Sternberg demanding more transparency about their dean’s resignation. College of Law Dean Stephen Easton’s resignation is the latest in a series of departures from the University's top ranks. Since July, five deans have been replaced along with several provosts.

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News
8:55 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Bill seeks answers for issues facing Native children

North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp has introduced a bill to create a Commission on Native Children. The Commission’s goal is to investigate problems specific to Native children and make recommendations for improving them.

Mortality has increased for Native children since 2000, and they're overrepresented in foster care, have high suicide rates, and lower graduation rates than white students. On the Wind River Indian Reservation the graduation rate for students is around 50 percent. The statewide graduation for all students is closer to 80 percent.  

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News
6:17 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Coal declines could seriously impact education funding

The recent Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, or CREG, report indicated some positive things for Wyoming's revenue picture, but within the report there are also concerns. 

Campbell County Representative Sue Wallis says one serious concern stands out.

"There's a very strong potential of a time...not very far out...when we've got a real problem with our education funding."

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ECA
5:14 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Appropriations committee supports cost adjustment for school salaries

Credit http://townmapsusa.com/d/map-of-buffalo-wyoming-wy/buffalo_wy

After a lengthy discussion, the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee voted to support a two-percent external cost adjustment for public schools. 

The external cost adjustment would address inflation issues within the school funding model, and is used by most districts to pay for salary increases.  Lawmakers have been reluctant to support an ECA over the last several years due to budget concerns, and the appropriations committee was told that spending for education in Wyoming remains among the top 10 in the country. 

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Open Spaces
5:24 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Hot Springs County High School is hoping that technology will lead to better results

As schools look at new ways to improve education, in Thermopolis they are hoping that new technology and the access it brings to data bases, videos, and better access to the outside world will improve learning and teaching.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more. 

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Open Spaces
5:20 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Casper school seeks to make students bilingual

Kindergarteners in the dual language immersion program at Paradise Valley Elementary School spend half their day learning in Chinese.
Willow Belden

A school in Casper has started teaching some of its classes in Chinese. The idea is that the students in those classes will grow up bilingual. This is the first Chinese immersion program in a Wyoming school, but data from other states that have similar programs show a wide range of benefits. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

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Legislative
5:05 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Management Council approves additional money for Hill Investigation

The Wyoming legislature’s management council voted unanimously today/Tuesday to provide 100-thousand dollars to a special committee investigating State Superintendent Cindy Hill. 

Hill is accused of mismanaging federal funds, abusing state resources, and creating a hostile work environment.  Hill has denied the allegations. 

Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau says they need extra help to complete what he says is a complicated investigation.  Normally the Legislative Service Office helps lawmakers with this work, but he says the L-S-O is limited by law in what they can do.

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News
6:47 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Fewer Wyoming schools meet Adequate Yearly Progress

The results of Adequate Yearly Progress for the last school year have been released and fewer schools met the required standard. 

A-Y-P is a federal measure of achievement that's determined through A-C-T data and the Wyoming Proficiency Assessment.  Schools that score poorly on A-Y-P can lose the ability to decide how they spend federal funds. 

David Holbrook of the Wyoming Department of Education says that those interested in how their schools fared can look at the Department’s website.

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Enrollment
5:51 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

UW enrollment down slightly

Sara Axelson

University of Wyoming enrollment numbers for the fall semester are down about 1.5 percent from the fall 2012 semester. The University’s enrollment report shows that freshman enrollment numbers have stayed steady, but Vice President for student affairs, Sara Axelson, says more significant were other changes in the class makeup. 

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Blue Ribbon
6:58 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Three Wyoming schools receive national Blue Ribbon Award

Three Wyoming schools have received Blue Ribbon School Awards from the U.S. Department of Education. The awards honor high performing schools as well as schools that demonstrate the most improvement in student achievement. This year’s recipients are Jackson Hole High School, Lovell High School, and Coffeen Elementary School.

David Holbrook, of the Wyoming Department of Education, says it’s a great honor for these schools.

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Open Spaces
4:34 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

UW Pharmacy School prepares graduates to be gainfully employed in an unsteady economy

Sarah Pence (’12) graduated from the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy. Walgreens hired her immediately.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

In this time of job insecurity and a changing medical landscape, the University of Wyoming’s School of Pharmacy Education is graduating dozens of doctoral students who – for the most part – can count on a securing a good-paying job once they get their degree, if not before. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.

(phone rings, “Thank you for calling Walgreens…”)

REBECCA MARTINEZ: Sarah Pence is a pharmacist at Walgreens in Laramie. She says her store fills hundreds of medications on a daily basis, and there’s a lot she loves about her job.

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Open Spaces
4:30 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Education expert will speak about emotions and learning at the upcoming Ellbogen Symposium

Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang

On October 2nd, the University of Wyoming College of Education will be hosting University of Southern California Professor Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang who will be the keynote speaker at the annual Ellbogen Symposium for teaching and learning. 

She will discuss how emotions shape learning, motivation and self.  Dr. Immordino-Yang is an expert on neuroscience and education.   She tells Bob Beck that emotions and our social experiences are a big part of learning.  

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News
6:53 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Wyoming's assessment system could use a tweak

Wyoming’s new Director of Education would like to make some changes to how the state uses assessment tests for students. 

Right now the tests take place in the spring and the results of those tests are not available until the fall.  Education Director Rich Crandall would like to speed that up, so that teachers can implement the results to better help students.

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News
6:49 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Superintendent Hill takes her case to the Wyoming Supreme Court

It is now up to the Wyoming Supreme Court to resolve a dispute between the Legislature and schools Superintendent Cindy Hill over statewide management of Wyoming's public school system.
 
     The court heard an hour of arguments Tuesday in Hill's lawsuit challenging a new law stripping the superintendent's office of many of its powers and duties.
 
     The change occurred in the middle of Hill's four-year term. The superintendent remains one of the five statewide elected officials but no longer oversees the Wyoming Department of Education.
 

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News
6:37 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Wyoming Ed Director says the graduation rate can be improved

Many in the state are concerned about the dropout rate in Wyoming’s schools.  State Director of Education Rich Crandall says in addressing the problem the goal should be to continue to engage and challenge students. 

Crandall says the best way to turn things around is to focus on improving the education experience.

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Open Spaces
3:34 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

New UW President wants to take a holistic approach to admissions

University of Wyoming President Robert Sternberg
Credit www.uwyo.edu

Last month, Bob Sternberg took over as the new president of the University of Wyoming. In recent weeks, has explained that he wants UW to attempt to be an inclusive University that doesn’t focus on things like a student’s ACT scores, and rather looks more at the whole package. 

President Sternberg tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that it’s more important to make sure students are properly prepared for higher education, and their future is much more important than test scores. 

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News
7:16 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Federal officials discuss Native American Education in Riverton

Credit Tom Laycock / Wyoming Department of Education

Officials from the Wind River Reservation discussed dropout rates, poverty issues, and the need for early childhood education during a panel that included two cabinet secretaries. 

The meeting in Riverton was intended to let Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Education Secretary Arne Duncan hear about issues on the reservation.  State Board of Education Member Scotty Ratliff was impressed that the discussion moved away from cultural issues and centered on key issues like poverty and jobs.         

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News
5:46 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Special Legislative Committee begins investigation of State Superintendent Cindy Hill

Credit Bob Beck

State Superintendent Cindy Hill says she has grave concerns about a legislative committee that is investigating possible wrongdoing within her administration.  The Committee is following up on a report that suggested possible misuse of funds and mistreatment of employees.  Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau says they want to determine if action needs to be taken against Hill or if the issue needs to be dropped.  Hill told the committee that she did nothing wrong and suggested that there may be reasons for the accusations.

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Open Spaces
4:17 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Albany County authorities train together to take on an active shooter

University of Wyoming Police hosted a three-day active shooter training session in the Classroom Building. The purpose was to train law enforcement agencies from across Albany County to collaboratively handle someone who is killing, or trying to kill, people in a confined and populated area.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

Ever since the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, law enforcement agencies across Wyoming have been have been preparing for how they might handle an active shooter situation.  

This summer, authorities from agencies across Albany County gathered in Laramie for some high intensity training… together. Rebecca Martinez reports.

OFFICER: Come out with your hands up.

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Provost
6:45 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

UW provost will resign

University of Wyoming Provost Myron Allen

University of Wyoming Provost Myron Allen has announced he will resign this fall.

A press release from UW President Bob Sternberg’s office says he accepted Allen’s resignation, which will go into effect on September 1. The release did not offer a reason for Allen's resignation.

Sternberg is asking the UW community and stakeholders to offer input and recommend an interim vice president for academic affairs. He invites anyone to send him an e-mail at uwpres@uwyo.edu.

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Open Spaces
3:41 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Wyoming Education reforms move forward as the Hill debate continues

Unless you are new to the state or have lived under a rock, you are aware that the state legislature passed a law that changed the powers of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and placed a Director in charge of Education.  Now lawmakers are investing a report that suggests possible wrong doing by Superintendent Cindy Hill…charges she denies.  It might lead people to worry about education in the state.  But lawmakers want you to know that they continue to try and make change for the better.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has the story…

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News
6:34 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Lawmakers discuss innovation

The Joint Education Committee wrapped up two days of meetings talking about everything from improving Native American education to better uses of technology in the classroom.  

Glenrock Senator Jim Anderson   says lawmakers have had some distractions in recent months with the controversy surrounding Superintendent Cindy Hill, but he says they are moving forward with some good ideas.

“If we are not doing it, at least we are starting to lay some framework and some discussion and open people’s minds to the idea of new options and new alternatives.”

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News
6:55 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Lawmakers say virtual schools need accountability

Wyoming lawmakers are trying to make alternative virtual schools accountable for the students they serve.  Virtual schools are classes students can attend on-line.  One snag has been identified in Niobrara County where the local school district saw its graduation rate drop after a virtual school started in the area. Some lawmakers think that the Virtual School may have impacted the local district’s graduation rate.  House Education Committee Member Cathy Connolly of Laramie says they need to find a way to make virtual schools stand on their own.      

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