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Lawmakers Propose Changes To Testing

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Lawmakers voted Monday to draft a bill that would make some changes to K-12 testing in Wyoming.

The bill—sponsored by the Legislature’s select committee on statewide education accountability—would enact most of the recommendations of a recent state testing task force.

The legislation proposes that students would be tested in third through tenth grade at the end of the year. Wyoming's test would be offered in more than one state, to allow for comparison. The test would be offered online, and test preparation would have to account for less than 1 percent of classroom time.

The committee rejected a request to make the ACT optional for 11th graders.  

The ACT is a college placement exam. Consultant Scott Marion says it should not be used to measure student achievement and growth, as it has been here for the past few years.

“We don’t want to use it for things that it’s not validated for, such as this achievement and growth indicator,” says Marion. “But they were fine with using it as this readiness indicator, for which it has been validated.”

The amendment to continue to mandate the ACT for all high school juniors as a readiness measurement led Pinedale Representative Albert Sommers to vote against the bill.

“We forget that at least a third or more of the students in Wyoming are not going to college,” says Sommers. “There should be some other way to reach them and assess them accountability wise, in terms of, ‘what is career readiness?’ I think we’re just going down the wrong path.”

The assessment legislation will be considered by the full legislature in February.

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