Wyoming Liberty Group
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.