Wyoming Liberty Group
Here's what's happening in education this week, in Wyoming and around the country.
Recently Al Gore decided to turn up the heat on those not willing to worship the climate change movement as “accepted science.” Mr. Gore stated at a recent technology event he felt anyone who disagrees with man made climate change should “pay the political price.” One has to wonder what price Mr. Gore is talking about? Perhaps he would like to silence all speech that doesn't align with his political ideology.
And in similar news this week the Wyoming State Board of Education met in Saratoga, WY, and voted to move forward with the review of the state’s science standards. No doubt we will see the same kind of rhetoric coming from those on the board pushing the Next Generation Science Standards adoption in Wyoming.
Last week the Wyoming Department of Education released to the public a letter dated August 27, 2014 from the Attorney General’s office stating that parents have no right to opt their children out of statewide testing in Wyoming public schools. Many Wyoming parents have asked for waivers to opt their children out of high stakes statewide testing and it has been the practise of some school districts to allow parents to opt out. Parents cite a variety of reasons, including concerns over data sharing with the federal government, the intrusiveness of the tests, the amount of testing, and the stress put on their children. The opinion did not address the question of what reprisals a parent who opts their child out might face.
The Wyoming Department of Education on Monday released the statewide 2014 PAWS (Proficiency Assessment for Wyoming Students) results in what can only be described as a rather apologetic press release. Having spent the last two days going over the scores, it is easy to see why the WDE felt the need to apologize.
The scores are not good. Actually, they are abysmal.
In only one years time, Wyoming students went from 84 percent “proficient or advanced” in third grade math to 46 percent. In the 5th grade math “proficient or advanced” category there was a similar drop, going from around 81 percent proficient to just 54 percent.
Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." -George Washington
In the midst of the tug-of-wars over educational standards and public school governance, let us not lose sight of the proper goal: total educational freedom for families. To that end, the Wyoming Liberty Group was thrilled to sign this letter stating clearly that it is only the parents in cooperation with their chosen teachers -- not distant government "experts" -- who are have the natural authority and ability to drive excellence in education. Bureaucrats with their high stakes tests have been shown time and again to nurture mediocrity. With this goal in mind we will continue to advocate for any and all opportunities to move Wyoming families closer to substantive access to education choice.
There is a real cost being paid every day by children caught up in the high stakes education testing world being advocated for by the “one-size fits-all Common Core Standards, top-down “accountability” educrats out there. This piece by Michelle Malkin examines that cost, both in real dollars, in wasted education opportunities, in a loss of freedom and creativity in the classroom and in the ever-expanding erosion of parental control.
Education policymakers would do well to listen to Wyoming parents calling for an end to high stakes testing, a removal from the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium and a repeal of the Common Core, instead of overpaid education consultants with their fingers in the cookie jar. Wyoming children deserve an opportunity to learn and grow in a world without high stakes tests.