By Tristan Ahtone
Laramie, Wyo. – Republican candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction sparred over the proficiency testing of students during a Wyoming PBS debate last night. Former state superintendent, Trent Blankenship, admitted PAWS is flawed, but explained that the test was originally created to gather data to help teachers assess student needs quickly.
Despite the test's intentions, current superintendent, Jim McBride, said he would dump the PAWS test in the near future. "The data is very instructionally sensitive, the trouble is the delivery platforms on the technology just haven't come through, and we have been lied to."
Candidate Ted Adams lauded Blankenship's original plan, but said the PAWS test is too flawed to be made useful. "What we've done is just kept administering the same dang test," he said. "That's why it's a killer because we didn't have the leadership to really develop the tool to accomplish a purpose other than judging teachers throughout the state, principals and school districts."
Cindy Hill also expressed concern about PAWS test and the multitude of other tests students have to take.