Geoff O’Gara of Wyoming PBS reports that teachers and legislators seem to be coming together over a couple of education bills moving through the House. Everyone may be close to agreeing on reasonable ways to weed out poor teachers without putting good instructors at risk of unwarranted firing. But now the hard work begins: figuring out an objective standard for testing students so administrators can determine which teachers are performing poorly. Wyoming’s recent history with standardized student testing doesn’t give anyone a good feeling about that effort.
There is still the question of just how student success will be “objectively” measured in Wyoming – the bills set up a process for assessment and accountability, but the actual assessment tools are not firm – the state’s much-revised, much-criticized PAWS test is hardly viewed as fool-proof. And the state Department of Education, and new chief Cindy Hill, have not contributed much to the accountability models – yet they’ll have to carry out these new requirements.