June 13, 2016

CHEYENNE – Wyoming State Board of Education (SBE) chairman Pete Gosar testified about board governance, responsibilities, statutes, policies and rules during the Joint Education Committee (JEC) meeting in Casper today. Gosar also addressed the need for alignment among educational entities, so that local instruction, professional learning and accountability support current standards and assessments. The board will present follow-up reports to the JEC on September 1 and October 15.

“Wyoming’s State Board of Education must remain nimble and independent,” said Gosar. “We must also align with the future of public education in Wyoming. The board exists to support the work being done on a local level, and state level alignment will allow us to place a greater focus on improving educational opportunities that prepare students to thrive in a 21st century marketplace. Honestly, I think Wyoming’s economic future depends on it.”

Gosar discussed the need for updating statutory inaccuracies, as well as rules and policies to more effectively support the adoption, delivery and implementation of college- and career-ready standards for increased success in the classroom and beyond.

He reiterated the need for a board coordinator to fulfill the board’s statutory responsibilities, in light of new rigors presented by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which returns a significant amount of authority for educational decision-making to the states and state boards.

The SBE will present a report to the JEC on September 1 with a focus on its nearly 100-year role in Wyoming education and the continued need for a full-time coordinator.

The board will present two sets of recommendations to the JEC on October 15. One will be designed to correct technical statutory and policy issues, such as the number of voting members on the board. The other will be more specific to policy making and responsibility based on current laws and the future of Wyoming’s public education system.

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