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WDE Reports  Wyoming Students Fared Better than Other States during Pandemic Months

Wyoming Department of Education

A new report shows that primary and secondary school students in Wyoming made better progress than students from other states during the pandemic months.

The Wyoming Test of Proficiency and Progress (WY-TOPP) and the Wyoming Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (WY-ALT) assessments are two of the most important tests for primary and secondary school students in the nation.

Ninety-nine percent of students in Wyoming between grades three and ten took the assessment tests, and the results showed there was only a three percent drop compared to the national rate of a seven percent to 15 percent drop.

Wanda Maloney, Wyoming Department of Education’s (WDE) chief policy officer, said local school districts worked in partnership with the department to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

“I will really credit our school districts for putting measures in place to ensure that students were safe and that the resources were available,” said Maloney. “They also put additional virtual learning opportunities in place, and at the state level we provided most of the processors; we also provided training around helping teachers be ready for those virtual learning options.”

Maloney further explained that the results of the tests will help the department to set out more effective policies on education in the state.

We are really looking at three things,” said Maloney. “At the state level, we would support schools in writing school improvement plans, and providing access to look at research-based info and evidence-based info to support that. The second thing would be providing additional resources from the WDE to support with students' mental health needs. Lastly this result will inform how we would better support our teachers and administrators through keeping the teachers we have and bringing more qualified teachers into the state.”

WY-TOPP is Wyoming's state-wide summit of assessments on ELA, Math, and Science administered to students in grades three through 10. WY-ALT is the statewide summit of assessment for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities administered to students in grades three through 10. Both assessments are required by the federal government to assess students nationwide.

Friday Otuya is a master's student in International Studies at the University of Wyoming.
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