Governor Matt Mead’s office interviewed current and former employees of the Wyoming Department of Education about Superintendent Cindy Hill’s administration there. The Legislature removed the superintendent as head of the Education Department in January. Mead’s office released a report compiling positive and negative feedback Tuesday.
A search firm says there is a lot of interest in Wyoming’s opening for a new Director of Education. The position was created by the State Legislature to take over day to day operations of the State Department of Education.
Jessica Friis, a horticulturalist for the Paul Smith Children’s Village at Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, watches two Douglas Middle School students during her “Hydroponic Plant” course at last year’s Women in Science Conference. More than 500 female high school and middle school students are expected to attend this year’s event at UW.
Credit Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium / University of Wyoming
More than 500 girls from across Wyoming will gather at the University of Wyoming Tuesday for the annual Women in Science Conference.
The Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium hosts the event, during which the middle- and high-school students learn about various applications of science, technology, math and engineering. In past years, students have identified animal skulls, developed computer games, and learned about anatomy in UW’s Human Cadaver Lab. Many of the scientists leading the programs are women.
This weekend a new set of graduates are leaving the University of Wyoming. For some, they are facing an unknown job situation, but others are ready to jump into their careers. The graduates also talked about Wyoming’s efforts to keep them in-state. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck sat down with three graduates from U-W’s College of business and found that two are leaving and one thinks he’ll hang around a bit longer.
Kathy Vetter, President of the Wyoming Education Association, taught elementary through high school students in Wheatland during her 30 years in the classroom. She says that teachers’ responsibilities have changed as students’ own roles have changed. “When I started teaching,” says Vetter, “going to school was the student’s job. Now, that’s only one of many jobs students have, that they have to divide their time amongst—and so there’s more pressure on the teachers and the students.”
Teton county residents are the healthiest in Wyoming. That’s according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute’s County Health Rankings. The least-healthy county was Fremont.
Wyoming is getting more money from the federal government to improve its lowest-achieving schools.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today that Wyoming will get $1.1 million in 2013. It's the third year the state has gotten a grant from the department's School Improvement Grant Program.
March 1st a series of automatic cuts to federal spending—called the sequester—went into effect. Education is one of the areas Wyoming will feel the cuts most acutely. A White House report says the state will lose millions of dollars in school funding.
Jim Rose, interim director of the Wyoming Department of Education, says a 5% cut to the federal education budget would mean special needs students would get less funding.
The Wyoming Senate has given final approval to a bill that would focus accountability in education on individual schools in the state. The statewide education accountability phase one bill would establish benchmarks for schools. If schools don’t meet those benchmarks, they will have to develop a school improvement plan. Senator Chris Rothfuss says that lawmakers hope to measure student performance in coming months.
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a pair of gun rights bills with some key changes.
The Committee reworked a bill that had been intended to threaten federal law enforcement officials with arrest if they tried to enforce federal gun bans in Wyoming. The committee amended the bill to say that federal officials could carry out their duties, but that local law enforcement could not assist. Still, the Wyoming Attorney General was given authority to protect citizen gun rights.
The House Appropriations Committee voted unanimously to endorse a bill that would remove duties from the State Superintendent and transfer them to an appointed Director. Lawmakers say that Superintendent Hill has not met deadlines and has delayed execution of duties such as creating education accountability programs.
The Wyoming legislature wraps up its second week today. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck is covering the session and joins us now to talk about lawmakers' attempts to restructure how the state's schools are governed.
The State Senate continues working on a bill that would change the way education is governed in Wyoming.
The bill would lead to the appointment of a State Education Director, who would oversee such things as education accountability and school funding.
But Senator Curt Meier amended the legislation, restoring a number of duties to the State Superintendent’s office. Under the amendment, the Superintendent would remain a voting member on the State Board of Education.
The Co-Chairmen of the legislature's Joint Education Committee are sponsoring legislation to create an appointed, Cabinet-level position to administer the Department of Education. The bill would allow the Governor to appoint a director for the Education Department. It would not eliminate the superintendent position, but modify the position’s responsibilities and lessen its power. The legislature comes after tense discussions in the Capitol about Superintendent Cindy Hill’s effectiveness in her position.
This week Governor Matt Mead is submitting his proposed budget to Wyoming legislators. The budget will include some spending priorities, but will also feature a wide range of budget cuts, some as high as eight percent. K-12 education has been viewed by lawmakers as untouchable due to the fact that the state lost an expensive lawsuit over school funding. But Mead believes some adjustments can be made in the amount of spending that goes into new schools.
Pinedale, Wyoming has been selected by an organization as one of the nation’s 100 best communities for young people.
America’s Promise Alliance recognizes local community programs and initiatives that are aimed at supporting youth. Pinedale was recognized for having safe places for youth, for its youth fitness and recreation programs, overall improvements in education and for its adult volunteer program.
Teacher Jasper Warembourg has been in the community for 20 years and he says the adult input is amazing.
For the second straight year, Wyoming students scored 20-point-3 out of a possible 36 in the college entrance exam known as the ACT. The national average was 21-point-one.
Wyoming Education officials say the score is not disappointing because all high school juniors in the state are required to take the test, while only college bound students take the test in 42 other states.
Paul Williams is part of Wyoming’s assessment team. He says Wyoming had mixed results.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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