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Wyoming Schools Ranked Seventh In The Nation

Graphics from Education Week. Layout by Tennessee Watson

Wyoming was given a B-minus score for its education quality, according to recently released data in Education Week’s report Quality Counts 2018. That puts it above the national average of a C, and the seventh best in the nation.


The grades are based on three criteria: chance for success, K-12 achievement, and school finance.

Brian Farmer from the Wyoming School Board Association said the report affirms that Wyoming is on the right track in its approach to education.


“We ought to be proud of what we have. We ought to be very careful that we don’t lose what we have,” said Farmer. “So to understand that if we want to have continued good outcomes we need to continue to invest in education.”


Farmer said as policymakers head into the 2018 Budget Session, this report is an indicator that the state has made sound investments in education.


“You know I think there is a narrative out there that Wyoming does not get a bang for its buck and I think that this report refutes that idea,” said Farmer. “It says Wyoming does pretty good. We do above average. And that also indicates that there is room for us to get better.”


Farmer said Wyoming saw a slight increase in its score this year compared to last year, and the state education system offers a solid foundation for continued improvement.


There are states, like New Hampshire and Vermont, that scored below Wyoming on school finance but who scored higher on chance for success and K-12 achievement. Farmer said school funding is key, but there's lots to consider when it comes to educational outcomes.


When looking at Wyoming’s neighbors with similar economic and geographic factors, Wyoming stands out for its educational quality as the only western state to score in the B range.


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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