Wyoming Liberty Group
Wyoming Liberty Group attended the July 25 meeting of the legislature’s Select Committee on School Finance Recalibration. It was interesting to see how much of a closed loop the process will be. The consultants engaged to do the work exclusively define interested stakeholders as elected government officials and employees plus employees of and lobbyists for the giant Education-Industrial complex. Accordingly, it’s likely to be simply an echo chamber of ghosts of recalibrations past with reverberations of “send us your money.”
Certain Wyoming legislators want our schools to compare favorably with the best schools in the country. Before we compare ourselves to the Joneses, though, we need to get our heads out of the sand and look honestly at how poorly we performed against our own state benchmark as measured by the testing system Wyoming’s experts chose, “PAWS”.
by Sven R Larson
Your agenda for the meeting in Thermopolis on August 2-3 is full of proposals to raise taxes and fees on the Wyoming economy. While I don't think anyone expects them all to pass even through your committee, the rich roster of ideas is in itself a source of great concern.
Listen in as Robert Nelson discusses the recent release of the Wyoming education PAWS testing results with host Glenn Woods.
What do PAWS, NAEP & ACT have in common besides being arcane acronyms? They are all K-12 education testing systems, each testing different age groups by subject, with the object of assessing what kids know and can do. They’ve also become canaries in the coal mine telling us our education systems and theories are ineffective. See the four graphs below.
One of the truisms of our political system is that Interim Committee members change. After two years of very hard work by the previous Judicial Interim Committee, a comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform (CJR) Bill was not introduced in the Senate after passing through the House last session.
A group called Wyoming Promise has declared the dastardly goal of overturning the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and to open the doors to campaign finance “reform,” or regulating free speech by restricting the money used to pay for it. Wyoming Promise aims to accomplish this by gathering 38,818 signatures to trigger a ballot initiative in the 2018 or 2020 election. This means an intense statewide effort, because Wyoming law requires gathering signatures not just in number but geographically throughout the state. Signatures for censorship; what a depressing idea.