February 20, 2018
CHEYENNE – Based on the recommendations of review committees comprised of educators, content area experts, and Wyoming citizens, the State Board of Education (SBE) directed the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) on Friday to collect input on proposed changes to Mathematics, Science Extended, and Social Studies Content and Performance Standards. The changes were recommended to the board by review committees comprised of educators, content area experts, and citizens.
“The review committees presented high quality recommendations to the board,” said board chair Walt Wilcox. “Their hard work and dedication is unparalleled and really allowed the board to make an informed decision today. We are grateful for their thoughtfulness in recommending changes to the standards, as well as the support they received from the WDE Standards and Assessment Division.”
The Math Standards Review Committee recommended a revision of the current standards that include more grade-specific Mathematical Practices, integrating modeling within all grade levels, added examples to standards and benchmarks, included cross-disciplinary connections to other content areas, and identified connections to the International Society for Technology in Education standards, Computer Science Teachers Association standards, computational thinking skills, and financial literacy skills.
The Science Extended Standards Review Committee designed standards aligned to the 2016 Science Standards for the 1 percent of the most significant cognitively disabled students. The recommended standards were built to four performance levels with embedded examples.
The Social Studies Standards Review Committee recommended additions to the current standards that address the cultural heritage, history and contemporary contributions of American Indians. Additions include defining “Indigenous Tribes of Wyoming,” enhancing the standards regarding government, culture, history, and geography with Performance Level Descriptors as needed, examples, and identifying cross-curricular connections to other content areas.
The WDE is collecting input through an online survey and at five public meetings to be held across the state. Feedback will be presented to the board in April, when they will consider promulgating Chapter 10 rules to incorporate the changes.
During the February SBE meeting, the board also received updates from the coordinator and WDE staff on current legislative matters, some of which directly impact the work of the State Board of Education.
In other business, the board elected officers for the next year. Walt Wilcox was re-elected as chair for a second year, Sue Belish was re-elected as Vice Chair for a second year, and Max Mickelson was elected and sworn in as Treasurer. Additionally, the SBE recognized board member Belenda Willson for her service, as her term ends this month.
Milken Educator Award winner Shannon Hill presented her work as a health and physical education teacher at Thermopolis Middle School. The board thanked her for her work and innovation in developing new curriculum that supports student achievement in all content areas, and engages students and their families in the outdoors.
The next board meeting is scheduled for March 22-23 in Rawlins.