Wyoming Liberty Group
“It’s complicated!” That is how one of our legislators – who has advanced degrees in scientific fields – recently described our K-12 education funding model. It was a remarkable understatement, made during debate about reducing the cost of the system. We face huge projected funding shortfalls which require cost reductions.
Wyoming Liberty Group recently wrote Can We Rely on NAEP Rankings Part 1 (See http://wyliberty.org/blog/education/can-we-rely-on-naep-rankings) Wyoming’s rankings versus other states in National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) scores. We pointed out that, while our rankings look very good, appearances are deceiving. The scores were:
Wyoming is talking. In fact, many are happy. What they’re jubilant about is Wyoming schools’ 2015 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) scores. There is room to be pleased about where Wyoming ranks versus other jurisdictions in reading and math in both Grades 4 and 8.
Wyoming’s Joint Interim Education Committee and Select Committee on Education Accountability both met on November 14th and 15th. The Legislative Service Office opened the agenda on the 14th with a fiscal update including a forecast out to 2021-22 which was grim, to say the least. After that reminder, the committees continued conversations on topics from their respective prior meetings.
NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) and standardized reading and math test scores are often referred to by Wyoming Liberty Group in its articles about Wyoming K-12 education. Since WLG is not enthusiastic about federal involvement in education, people may reasonably ask why WLG seems to harp on them.
Who ever heard of a football team not improving by competing? Practice makes perfect, but perfect gets better through competition. Competition reveals unknown flaws, generates new ideas and improves execution of old methods. Our K-12 education system needs improvement as Wyoming Liberty Group has written previously. Assuming our schools want to get better, maybe competition is part of the answer.