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Wyoming Graduation Requirements Up For Review


The Wyoming Department of Education is seeking public comment on revised Graduation Requirements. 

Called Chapter 31, it clarifies requirements for demonstrating competency in the nine required content areas needed for graduation. It also, empowers districts to decide what methods they’ll use to guarantee those requirements are met.            

Natrona County Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Walt Wilcox said the amended rules will make assessment less complex for administrators, and also benefit students.

“It actually opens up some options for our students who are working toward graduation requirements.” As Wilcox explained assessment could be based off a letter grade, “and that letter grade says you took this course, and you have that layer of understanding.” With the new standards Wilcox says students will also have the option to take competency based examinations.

This kind of flexibility supports students who could benefit from a less traditional path. “Maybe they’ve gone through and taken different levels of courses, or they’ve transferred in. Maybe they just have a high skill set in that area,” Wilcox explained. “And they are able to go in and instead of taking a yearlong course they could elect to test out with a competency based exam.”

The new rules clarify ways a school district can assess and prove a student’s completion of graduation requirements.  It also gives local districts power to determine what works best. 

“It’s flushed out what the graduation requirements are with a little more clarity,” Wilcox said. “Not just around the types of courses or credits that are earned but also the routes that students and districts could display towards meeting those requirements.”

The Wyoming Graduation Requirements of Chapter 31, which can be viewed here. A rationale for the revisions to these rules can be found in the Statement of Reasons.

Public comment on the proposed rules may be submitted through March 3, 2017 online or by mail to:

Wyoming Department of Education
Attn: Julie Magee
2300 Capitol Avenue
Hathaway Building, 2nd Floor
Cheyenne, WY 82002

Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.
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