accountability

Aaron Schrank

A legislative committee voted Monday to draft a bill that would exempt Wyoming’s alternative schools from the state’s accountability act.

Under the proposed law, alternative school performance would be evaluated by a different standard than that used to assess traditional schools.

Proponents of the bill say the general accountability model can’t make valid conclusions about alternative school performance.

Republican Representative Mike Madden of Buffalo voted against the bill. He says holding alternative schools to a different standard could cause problems. 

How to evaluate Wyoming’s teachers and superintendents continues to challenge legislators. 

Earlier this year lawmakers approved an updated accountability measure. They call it ‘phase one,’ and it deals with measuring performance of schools and students. Back in March, they decided to put “phase two”—the part dealing with teacher evaluation—on hold. 

Senator Hank Coe says the Select Committee on Statewide Education Accountability continues to struggle with that piece. He says they will continue to work on it. 

School performance data released Tuesday by the Wyoming Department of Education shows a gap between how the state says its schools are doing and how the federal government says they’re doing under No Child Left Behind.

The majority of Wyoming schools at least partially met expectations under the state’s accountability system in the 2014-2015 school year. But only 17 percent of Wyoming schools met federal expectations—called ‘adequate yearly progress.’

Wally Gobetz via Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. House and Senate will soon begin negotiations to reconcile two different bills that would rewrite the federal ‘No Child Left Behind’ education law.

The law has not been updated in 14 years. On Thursday, the Senate passed a bipartisan measure to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—which was last revamped with NCLB in 2001. Last week, the House passed its own Republican-backed bill.

If Congress comes together on a bill that President Obama will sign, it would mean big changes for Wyoming.

Ralph Alswang via Flickr Creative Commons

The White House says neither of the bills in Congress to rewrite the country’s chief federal K-12 education law would do enough to close the achievement gap nationwide.

In Wyoming’s lowest-performing schools, 48 percent of students score proficient in math, compared with 80 percent of students in other schools.

Nationwide, 29 percent of students at low-performing score proficient in math, compared with 65 percent at all other schools. A report released by the White House Monday shows similar gaps exist for reading and graduation rates—in Wyoming and around the country.

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