PAWS

Test results released Monday by the Wyoming Department of Education show huge drops across the board in the percentage of Wyoming students meeting proficiency for end-of-year state assessments.

For example, just 46 percent of third graders scored “proficient or advanced” on the math portion of the Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students—or PAWS test. That’s compared to 84 percent in the previous school year.

Wyoming's assessment system could use a tweak

Aug 20, 2013

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.

Wyoming saw a drop in standardized test scores this year.

Third-through-eighth graders saw average scores on the Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students – or PAWS – drop by up to seven points in Reading, Math and Science.

Still, the Wyoming Department of Education’s Director of Assessment, Deb Lindsey, says the drops are not statistically significant.

Lindsey says the state introduced higher testing standards last year, pushing some subject matter to earlier grade levels, and asking more from the students overall.

The U.S. Department of Education has informed the Wyoming Department of Education that it should continue administering the state Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students -- or PAWS -- test for high school juniors next year.

The Wyoming Legislature earlier this year directed the state Education Department to discontinue the PAWS test for juniors and to use results from the ACT instead.

The Wyoming Department of Education recently released the Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students – or PAWS – results. In reading, the state improved by about 2 percentage points, but the Arapahoe School on the Wind River Reservation, which serves 350 Native American students, jumped an average of 13 points.

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.

A new report from the Wyoming Children’s Action Alliance says between 2005 and 2010, the number of children living in poverty jumped from 11 percent to 14 percent. Marc Homer is with the Children’s Action Alliance. He says the biggest spike came in 2009 and 10 when the nations recession began to catch up to the state, and childhood poverty jumped from 13 percent to 19 percent.

“Certainly I think it’s the recession that’s hit the United States and its impacted Wyoming,” says Homer. “So we’re seeing a slowing of the economy and this trickles down to families in our communities.”