The majority of Wyoming schools are meeting or exceeding expectations, according to the 2016-2017 school performance ratings released Thursday by the Wyoming Department of Education.
State Superintendent Jillian Balow, said the performance ratings are designed to identify schools that need additional support, and she said that system is working. 30 percent of schools are only partially meeting expectations and 11 percent are not meeting them at all.
Balow said, nevertheless, the results show more schools than previous years are meeting expectations.
“Second we have seven schools that jumped up two levels in overall performance and third we have 13 schools that have exceeded expectations for three or more years,” said Balow.
Balow said she attributes this positive trend to the department’s statewide system of support. “Since it was implemented a little less than three years ago we have certainly focused on supporting schools, especially in the areas of understanding and using student data, professional development and strengthening the leadership in schools and in school districts,” Balow said.
Despite these promising trends Balow did not shy away from the challenges at Thursday’s press conference. Balow said the results also showed there were fewer high schools meeting expectations, which she attributes to low participation on required tests. High schools that only have 90-percent participation on the ACT test, for example, are automatically “Not Meeting Expectations.” To address this issue the Department of Education began offering the ACT online and the new state assessment, WY-TOPP, will be have a three week testing window, to better accommodate students’ schedules.
Balow added with the implementation of new federal guidelines under the Every Student Succeeds Act, Wyoming will do even more to support schools and close achievement gaps for at risk students.
School Performance Ratings can be found here.