New Statewide Assessments

Dear Superintendents,

The Wyoming Department of Education will enter into contract negotiations for a new statewide assessment in grades 1-10 with the American Institutes for Research (AIR). We will also negotiate a new contract with ACT for the grade 11 assessment. These awards were made after the State Board approved recommendations for the assessments. This follows months of work by the WDE assessment team in conjunction with stakeholders from across the state. Thank you for your involvement in the process! Implementation of the new assessment is Spring 2018. Requirements for the new assessment were based on recommendations from the the Wyoming Assessment Task Force that convened in 2015. Here were several key recommendations from the task force that went into the RFP and will carry through contract negotiations and test implementation:

  • Comparability from state to state (also an ESSA requirement)
  • Reporting as a priority, not an afterthought
  • Minimal testing time
  • Cutting edge technology and design
  • Later test window

Additionally, I am committed to ensuring that Wyoming’s new assessment is helping cut a path for all statewide assessments under ESSA. Through negotiations and the development phase, the WDE assessment team and I will work to:

  • Align across grade levels and through higher education
  • Measure real world skills
  • Ensure accessibility for all students
  • Eventually incorporate internationally benchmarked items
  • Ensure customizability

Here is a link to information about AIR, the new assessment vendor. 

2015 Wyoming Assessment Task Force Report

Governor Matt Mead is surrounded by the State Superintendent and student officers of Career Technical Student Organizations during the proclamation signing for CTE Month.
FFA, DECA, FBLA students attend proclamation signing

Wyoming continues to celebrate CTE Month with a governor’s proclamation.

Random Acts of Kindness Week

Thank you! Thank you! In the words of my fifth grade son, “Kindess is much more fun to celebrate than love on Valentine’s Day.” Schools across the state participated in RAK week in creative ways. I can’t wait to see this movement grow!

A wall in Meadowlark Elementary school is covered with hearts in the shape of the numbers "307". Each of the hearts has a random act of kindness written on it.
Meadowlark Elementary 5th graders tracked their RAKs to 307 and beyond

Wyoming Legislature

Week six is done and legislators went home to enjoy a four day break. HB236 (Omnibus Bill) is gaining momentum on the Senate side and with constituents. There are aspects of HB236 that concern-namely, changes to the model. However, it is the bill that triggers a new tax revenue once savings are tapped to a certain level. Education programming bills have mostly fizzled with a few exceptions to be determined in the next week or so.

State Board of Education

New officers were selected at the State Board meeting earlier this week.  In March, three new board members will be appointed by Governor Mead.

  • Walt Wilcox, Chair
  • Sue Belish, Vice
  • Ken Rathbun, Treasurer

Memos to be released on Tuesday, February 21, 2017:

Jillian