Gordon’s Education Group Offers Few Specifics on Improving Wyoming Education
Governor Mark Gordon announced in a press release on Monday that his Reimagining and Innovating the Delivery of Education (RIDE) advisory group has released a report on improving Wyoming education.
The report comes after the RIDE Group surveyed 7,705 parents, school employees, concerned citizens, students, teachers, and former students and teachers, and held listening sessions across Wyoming.
The two most common themes from the survey and listening sessions were to address "learning outcomes and expectations" and "class content and structure."
Gordon said in the release:
"Wyoming has outstanding educators and schools, along with committed parents and businesses who care about education," Gordon said. "These recommendations were developed collaboratively to help highlight ways to build on our existing strengths. Key to this review is the belief that Wyoming should never be afraid to embrace innovative, personalized approaches to ensure all students are prepared to continue their educational journey or enter the workforce."
In the report, the RIDE Group offered several recommendations, including more student-centered learning, creating another RIDE Group to address the specifics, and making it easier for career technical education to be an option.
There is also an emphasis in the report on giving students careers with the three Hs, high skill, high demand, and high wages.
John Masters, RIDE Group Chairman, said in the release:
"Information and knowledge are mushrooming," Masters said. "Our education system – and all within it – cannot merely keep pace, we must lead. To do this requires new instructional thinking and creativity. RIDE encourages change. Our schools must be places offering information of interest to all while challenging both the educators and the educated. New approaches to learning will serve our students well as they enter an ever-advancing society that demands life-long learning skills."
There were several priority recommendations in the report, including defining competency, stopping students from falling behind, implementing school-specific plans, supporting teachers, talking to families, and engaging with employers and colleges on what student-centered learning means.
The report acknowledges that people will want more details on what the state plans on doing, but states that "[i]t was beyond the scope of the RIDE Advisory Group to develop detailed plans for all of this work."
While the report mentions teacher recruitment and retention as areas of focus, it doesn't provide any specifics on how to do that, but that both were a "major focus of comments to the Advisory Group."
Michael Pearlman, the communications director for the governor's office, said in an email when asked if teacher salaries would be part of the discussion, that it would up to the legislature.
"The RIDE effort was designed to look at the delivery of education, not to address teacher salaries. Those must be considered as part of the Legislature's discussion of the external cost adjustment."