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By Tesia Galvan
Staff Writer 

State Board of Education meets in Worland

Agenda items included implementation of Every Student Succeeds Act


April 27, 2016

WORLAND – The Wyoming State Board of Education (SBE) is set to meet in Worland Thursday and Friday in the Washakie County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees room to discuss the implementation of Every Student Succeeds Act and other legislative tasks.

Paige Fenton-Hughes, state board education coordinator, said the Wyoming State Board of Education travels to school districts on a monthly basis for their meetings.

The meeting is open to the public and this month the SBE will meet on Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. with 15 minutes for public comment from 10:30 to 10:45 a.m.

“The state board of education is dedicated to hearing input from stakeholders across the state and they try to move our meeting around to get people interested in education a chance to come to a meeting and be heard and observe the meeting,” Fenton-Hughes.

She added, “They really enjoy getting out to schools and seeing what happens at practitioner level.”

Fenton-Hughes said State Superintendent Jillian Balow will give the update on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and will mainly give an overview on how the new ESSA is being implemented in the state, as well as keeping the board in the loop on the work that’s being done with moving forward on implementing the federal law.

While ESSA mainly affects state level agencies because it changes accountability from the federal to the state level and allows them to respond to one model of adequacy rather than two, Fenton-Hughes said the bill does trickle down and affect the county level.

“For Washakie 1, it eliminates the adequate yearly progress (AYP),” Fenton-Hughes said.

With ESSA, the State of Wyoming will be able to use its own accountability system called the Wyoming Accountability and Education Act (WAEA.)

WAEA has the goals of ensuring all students leave Wyoming schools career or college ready; recognizing student growth; maximizing efficiency of Wyoming education; increasing credibility and support for Wyoming public schools and increase the rate of that growth for all students; recognize student achievement and minimize achievement gaps; and to improve teacher, school, and district leader quality, according to the Wyoming Department of Education website.

She added, “What [ESSA] does in some effects is it returns a lot of power and decision making about education back to the state.”

Background on ESSA

ESSA was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015 to replace the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act from 2002.

The United States Department of Education website says NCLB “represented a significant step forward for our nation’s children in many respects, particularly as it shined a light on where students were making progress and where they needed additional support, regardless of race, income, zip code, disability, home language, or background … but over time, NCLB’s prescriptive requirements became increasingly unworkable for schools and educators.”


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