WASA, SLIB, ESSA, and Quality Counts

Dear Superintendents,

Thank you for inviting me to be part of the great discussions at the Northeast Division WASA meeting. It was great to see many of you. Our discussions about economic diversity and computer science education left me enthused and motivated to continue the conversation.

On Thursday, the State Loan and Investment Board voted in favor of a $12 million+ grant to SEEDA. Sheridan will build a 100,000 square-foot manufacturing facility and lease it to a company relocating to our state. The name of the company will be revealed next Tuesday by the Wyoming Business Council via Facebook Live.

Also, the City of Buffalo received a $1,000,000 grant to build road and utility infrastructure to begin development of Phase 1 of the Buffalo Technology Business Park. This space has the potential to compliment the unnamed company and boost workforce and education opportunities.

The success of these two projects (and the others we voted on) depends on meaningful partnerships with K12 and higher education. This is the new face of Career and Technical Education and business/school partnerships!

Chief Academic Officer Brent Bacon sits with district superintendents from northeast Wyoming during their conference.
NED WASA superintendents in Ucross talk comp sci and economic diversity

I sent out a special update this week to let you know our ESSA plan was approved and that we received the high ranking of 7th in the nation, best in the west, in EDWeek’s Quality Counts Report. Here is the information once again:

Here is the link to the press release and final Wyoming ESSA plan:

https://edu.wyoming.gov/blog/2018/01/16/u-s-department-of-education-approves-wyoming-essa-plan/

 Also, Wyoming was ranked 7th in the nation for school quality in the annual Quality Counts report released by EDWeek. Here is a link to the press release and the report:

https://edu.wyoming.gov/blog/2018/01/17/quality-counts-2018-report-ranks-wyoming-seventh-in-education-quality

Wyoming scored slightly above average on two of three metrics. We are #1 in the nation for school finance and that metric score put us ahead of the pack for our overall rating. A main talking point from me will be quality, equitable, and sustained funding by the legislature. There were a number of ancillary articles and I found this one about the five commonalities of leading states particularly insightful.

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/01/17/five-common-traits-of-the-top-school.html\

COMING NEXT WEEK:

  • Thoughts about Random Acts of Kindness (memo below)
  • National comparison of accountability systems under ESSA

Memos to be released on Monday, January 22:

Jillian