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.


4:13 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

PAWS Results Rise 2nd Year in a Row for Wyoming Students

The Wyoming Department of Education has released the 2012 Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students – or PAWS - results. For the second year in a row, the results indicate a statewide rise in scores in math, reading, and science.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Cindy Hill, did not point to specific policies or efforts made by the Wyoming Department of Education, but rather said the results were due to a team effort.

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Best of Wyoming
11:54 am
Mon July 23, 2012

AmeriCorps Interns Join Teton Science Schools for Summer - Jackson

Teton Science Schools

Teton Science Schools is pleased to welcome 20 AmeriCorps Field Education Interns to campus for one of the busiest summer seasons ever! Hailing from more than 15 colleges and universities and holding diverse degrees including Environmental Studies, Secondary Social Studies Education, Geology, Wildlife Ecology, Anthropology and Theater, these folks make up a dynamic and talented cohort for the Summer 2012 season.

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10:32 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Wyoming Youth Risk results are up and down

The Centers for Disease Control has released the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior survey.  

The C-D-C finds that the students from Wyoming align with the rest of the nation when it comes to Drug and Alcohol use, and are better than the national average in areas such as physical fitness, risky sexual behavior and diet,  but are worse in areas surrounding violence, unintentional injury and tobacco use. 

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5:37 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Community Colleges prepare for budget cuts

An 8-percent budget cut would cost Wyoming's seven community colleges about $9.1 million.

Falling energy revenues has prompted Gov. Matt Mead to order
state agencies to prepare for 8-percent budget cuts for the fiscal
year that starts in July 2013.

James Rose, of the Wyoming Community College Commission, says
each community college board of trustees has the freedom to handle
any funding cuts as it see fit so he can't speak to whether any
faculty and staff positions would be threatened with layoffs.

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6:21 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Cheyenne school district finds bullying occurs above the national average

Laramie County School District One in Cheyenne says a survey conducted earlier this year found that 26 percent of girls and 23 percent of boys say they were bullied two-to-three times a month.  The figures exceed the national average. 

More than 5-thousand students in grades three-through-eight participated in the survey that is part of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program that the district is using.  The results are being used as a baseline as the school district begins new strategies to address bullying. 

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5:34 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Wyoming students' NAEP scores above national average

The 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAEP  shows that Wyoming eighth graders continue to outperform the national average test score in science. 

The Wyoming Department of Education says that Wyoming students also increased their science scores from those reported in 2009.

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5:21 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Wyoming gets $1.1 million for schools

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says Wyoming will receive $1.1 million to turn around its persistently lowest-achieving schools.

The money comes from the Education Department's School Improvement Grants program. The funds are part of $535 million provided through the fiscal 2011 budget and made available to states through the program.

6:26 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Districts will be granted a waiver to meet classroom size

The state Education Department has granted
20 school districts waivers from meeting a state law requiring a
16-to-1 student-teacher ratio in kindergarten through third grades.
     The waivers are good for the 2012-13 school year.
     State schools superintendent Cindy Hill says the 16-to-1 ratio
is challenging for some districts but she's confident all will
eventually reach the mandate that was set by the 2011 Legislature
as part its education reform initiative.
     State law allows districts to seek a waiver from the Education

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Open Spaces
6:53 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Natrona County plans to revolutionize education system

Bob Beck

As most know, school reform is far from novel.  It has been a catch word for many years.  But at a time when Casper was looking a building a new high school, school officials thought that a new approach in education should be part of new construction.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports…

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4:31 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Nine Wyoming school districts fall short of federal graduation guidelines

Wyoming’s on-time graduation rate for 2011, a calculation of how many students graduate in four years was 79-point-7 percent. That’s slightly below the goal of 80 percent. 

The Wyoming Department of Education says that  while the 2011 average is slightly less than the year before, the Department is also quick to point out that Wyoming graduated 59 more students than in 2010.  The Department added that 39 of Wyoming’s 48 districts had on-time graduation rates higher than the state average. 

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5:55 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Student Drinking Numbers Down

According to statistics over 50-percent of high school students drank in 1995. In 2011 the number had dropped to 34-percent.

For binge drinking, in the mid-90’s nearly 40-percent of high school students participated. Last year under 25-percent reported taking part in binge drinking.

Rodney Wambean is a research scientist with the University of Wyoming. He says based on figures from the mid 90’s had there been no prevention efforts, use among teenagers today would be around 53-percent.

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Open Spaces
4:15 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Ag program seeks to teach kids about origins of food

Irina Zhorov

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The Wyoming Farm Bureau runs an Ag Books for Kids program to help kids better understand where their food comes from. Young ranchers are going into classrooms to spread the Ag gospel. Irina Zhorov went to a classroom in Laramie for the story. 

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5:44 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Legislature passes education reform bill

A complicated bill intended to improve how Wyoming tracks education progress has passed the legislature. 

The Education Accountability bill passed following a closed door caucus in the House of Representatives. It was approved with no public debate on the House floor.  

The primary concern of opponents is over how much testing Wyoming will use to both assess student progress and how particular districts or schools are doing.   Earlier in the day the Senate agreed to changes in the bill.

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5:34 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Education Accountability Measure Supported, Yet Still Unclear

The Wyoming House of Representatives passed a much-debated education accountability measure. 

Wyoming Education Association President Kathryn Valido is optimistic about the bill, but she still isn’t sure what it will do for education.

“That’s the million dollar question, I really don’t know what it’s going to do,” says Valido. “I do know there are some things that we are a little cautious about.  We still are hearing a little too much about testing, testing, testing and not enough about being creative, thinking skills, that whole side of education.”

5:58 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Education Accountability Nearly Wrapped Up

The Wyoming House is wrapping up work on an enormous education accountability bill.  During second reading debate on the bill, Casper Republican Steve Harshman added a massive amendment that clarifies a number of standards lawmakers want students to meet including writing.  Harshman says it also notes that the ACT will be the way the state will track students who are high school juniors and, overall,he says the bill has clear goals.

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7:25 am
Mon March 5, 2012

House debates education reform measure

The Wyoming House of Representatives has begun debating a major education reform measure.  The House gave initial approval to the Education Accountability Bill that is intended to improve all levels of education.   Various types of testing will be part of the process, but despite concerns by the State Superintendent and some legislators, House Education Chairman Matt Teeters says additional testing is not part of the bill. “My belief, depends on who you talk to, but my belief the amount of testing we will do, also because we are timing PAWS will actually be less,” Teeters said. Teeters says

7:04 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Senate approves education accountability measure

The State Senate gave final approval to a major Education Accountability measure.  It provides testing and other procedures to keep students, teachers, administrators and parents accountable for a child’s education.  The Senate approved an amendment that would allow school districts to better track how students are doing throughout their entire career. Senator Chris Rothfuss says it’s a different approach. “Tracking a student’s growth year to year -- how good are they one year, the next year, the following year…in K-12.  And that’s what we are trying to track from the growth standpoint,” Ro

3:39 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

School Finance Bill Returns

The Wyoming Senate has revived a school finance measure with onesignificant change:The bill removes the controversial regional cost adjustment known as the hedonic model that caused the measure to fail in the house.

That provision would remove funding from communities with amenities and could have cost Teton County four million dollars. 

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6:41 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Wyoming's Education Scores Average Despite Investment

Wyoming ranks twenty-third in the nation in student performance and progress. That’s according to the American Legislative Exchange Council’s 2011 annual Report Card on American Education. While the score rose from twenty-eighth place in 2010, the report accuses Wyoming of misspending a financial windfall—spending a great deal of money with little to show for it.

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5:51 pm
Mon January 16, 2012

Wyoming Department of Education says anti-bullying efforts are important

The State Department of Education says school districts developing anti-bullying plans will do a lot to improve not only behavior, but education in the state.  Wyoming’s most recent youth risk behavior survey found that a quarter of high school students and better than 50 percent of middle school students in the state experienced bullying.  Superintendent of Schools Cindy Hill said bullying is unacceptable.  She said they have found that schools with no tolerance for bullying actually are higher performing schools and Hill says that is not surprising.

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Open Spaces
8:17 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Green River teaches manners to prevent bullying

Students made anti-bullying posters to hang on the walls at Lincoln Middle School.
Willow Belden
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Open Spaces
5:16 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Sticks and Stones: Cheyenne schools reeling from tragedy

McCormick Junio High

Listen to the Story

Last spring, Laramie County school district number one, which serves all of Cheyenne, started working on its bullying plan.  It will train everyone from teachers to students. Recently, the district was reminded how important these efforts are as Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

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5:53 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

State School Boards Association will monitor tougher UW standards

The Wyoming School Boards Association will monitor how school districts handle tougher University of Wyoming admission standards that take effect in 2013.  Association executive director Mark Higdon says the university is doing what it thinks best for the students but the devil will be
in the details.

The new admission standards were approved last Friday by the UW
Board of Trustees. They are aimed at improving the retention and
graduation rates of students who attend the state's only public
four-year university.

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8:15 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Sheridan educators could see costs for health care go up

Officials at Sheridan Memorial Hospital have been notified that the hospital could be downgraded from a tier one hospital to tier two by the Wyoming School Board Association Insurance Trust otherwise known as WSBAIT. The rating does not reflect the level of service provided by Sheridan Memorial, but rather reflects that educators covered by WSBAIT will now have to pay more out of pocket for services at the hospital than to hospitals rated tier one by the trust.

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Admissions Standards
6:10 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Hill criticizes U-W's plan for higher admissions standards

Wyoming Superintendent Cindy Hill asked the University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees to reconsider raising its admission standards so as not to exclude Wyoming high school students who struggle with their test scores.

Under the new guidelines, in order to be assured admission admitted, students would need three-point-oh G-P-As and an A-C-T score of 21. They would also have to take additional foreign language classes in high school. Students who don’t meet certain standards would be admitted, on condition of participating in a ‘Synergy Program’ to bring them up to speed.

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5:36 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Wyoming students slightly improve math and reading scores on a national test

Wyoming students have improved their math and reading scores on a national assessment test.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress released its 2011 results Tuesday. The test measures math and reading among fourth and eighth graders nationwide.
Wyoming fourth graders scored four points better on average than the national average in both subjects, while eighth graders were five points better on math and six points over on reading.

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