In February 2017, Gov. Mead signed Enrolled Act 31 into law that established Phase 2
Leader Accountability. Phase 1 of the 2011 WY Accountability in Education Act (WAEA)
created mechanisms for school accountability that rated schools as Exceeding, Meeting,
Partially Meeting, or Not Meeting Expectations. All schools are rated on achievement
and equity. The measures are similar, but high schools are rated on graduation rates,
but not growth, while elementary and middle school are rated on growth.
Phase 2 accountability brings in individuals’ accountability beginning with
superintendents, principals, and other instructional leaders. The WDE began this effort
by convening a small group called Certified Personnel Evaluation System (CPES)
representing school board members, superintendents, principals, curriculum directors
and others. This group is led by WDE staff with technical support from the Regional
Educational Laboratory (REL).

This group is assembling a model leader accountability system emphasizing measures of
student growth including achievement on state assessments as well as other metrics like
graduation rates, attendance, etc. The point is for the broader evaluation system
required of all certified staff to include some measure(s) of improved student learning.
Of course, local school boards are required to evaluate Superintendents annually and
Superintendents evaluate their own leadership team, but Phase 2 Leader Accountability
adds an additional focus on student growth. The model as it currently reads would allow
districts to identify which positions actually would participate in the accountability
process.

The proposed model is currently out for public comment, but the revised model will be
presented to the state board for information and then action early in 2018. Once the
model and proposed changes to Chapter 29 are released, there will be a second round of
public comments as they move through the review process, ultimately presented to the
Governor for his consideration. If approved the Leader Accountability systems will have
approximately one year before being phased in at the district and school levels.
There is also legislation for teacher accountability which follows development and
deployment of leader accountability by another year, unless the legislature takes action
to reconsider that statutory requirement of the State Board of Education.