RIVERTON – The Wyoming State Board of Education (SBE) voted on Thursday to move discussions forward in partnership with Governor Mark Gordon, Superintendent Megan Degenfelder, the Wyoming Department of Education, and the UW College of Education on piloting new instruction and assessment strategies for Wyoming students. The pilots align to recommendations made by the Governor’s Reimagining and Innovating the Delivery of Education (RIDE) Advisory Group, Superintendent Degenfelder’s strategic plan goals, the SBE’s Profile of a Graduate, and UW’s Portrait of an Educator.
“This collaborative approach is the next important step in our efforts to implement new ideas and approaches to learning, as well as responding to the input Wyoming residents have provided about ways to better prepare our students for the future,” Governor Gordon said.
Pilots would be voluntary for schools and ideally launch this fall. The focus will be around increased competency based learning, where students can move through standards at a unique pace, project based learning with completion of standards by solving real world problems, and work based programs predicated on credentials and partnerships with industry. The community-driven pilots are intended to respond to the desires expressed by Wyoming communities in preparing students for a shifting economy and evolving world.
“I spent all of last year traveling the state and listening to school districts, community leaders, parents, and students about the need to innovate within our public schools. The willingness of the Governor, State Board and University to partner with us on this call for innovation is the key to our state achieving student centered education that best prepares students for the workforce,” Superintendent Degenfelder said.
The work will ultimately inform policy changes needed around assessment, accountability, and standards.
“Our listening carefully to educators across Wyoming reveals a hunger for student-centered innovation and competency-based approaches to teaching and learning. This deliberate collaboration represents a signal moment for innovating education and advancing children’s learning throughout the state,” UW College of Education’s Dean Thomas said.
The vote by the SBE will allow these entities to work together to finalize pilot details in an expedited fashion.
“The vote by the state board to partner with the Governor, State Superintendent and the University marks a pivotal moment in its commitment to the vision of the Profile of a Graduate”, said SBE Chairman Bill Lambert. “The board appreciates the leadership of each of these partners in recognizing that not only what students learn but how they learn and apply it impacts their preparation for life after high school.”
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Linda Finnerty, Communications Director