State education standards will undergo major changes in the coming years

Goff Justice announces a $20 million expansion of nursing education programs

In the coming years, the state’s standards will undergo substantial changes, Jason Slip, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, said during his annual report to the Park County School District 1 board.

The state Board of Education decided to scale back education standards after input from stakeholders in Wyoming’s alumni profile. According to the Wyoming Department of Education website, the Wyoming Graduate Profile is an SBE initiative developed with students, educators, families, community members, and employers to identify what students need to succeed after graduation.

“As part of their hearings, the teachers repeatedly told the SBE that the standard load was too great for them to add another large initiative to the plate,” Slip said in his written report. “With this in mind, the SBE set out to reduce the number of Wyoming State Standards in order to free up educators time to implement components of the graduate profile.”

There are 1,821 criteria across performance and content categories. Slip informed the PCSD1 Board that the SBE has begun the process of scaling back standards – eventually the state will only have performance standards. According to materials provided by Sleep, 75% of high school math standards have been reduced compared to the number of standards in 2018 and 53.33% of middle school science standards and 59.15% of high school science standards have been reduced compared to the number of standards in 2016.

“We cut it back so that we can have more time to dig deeper with the kids and implement the graduation standards,” said Slip.

While the work has begun, Slip said, those state standards are still approved two years later. He added that SBE involves teachers in the process, “so I feel like it’s going to happen in a good way for us.”

Once new standards are approved, the district will define standards each year that will be tested through joint assessments and categorized as core standards. Slip said this approach differs from some other areas.

When the changes are approved, it will change the composition of the Wyoming Test Aptitude and Progress (WYTOPP).

“So just get yourself ready. There’s a lot more coming up,” said Sleep. “I hope to keep you posted, and keep all our teachers and administrators informed as well, to make sure we’re going to be successful. “

Public input on state standards is currently being taken through May 11th. Entries will then be sent to state committees before going to the state assembly for final approval.