Wyoming education agencies, the Executive Branch and the University of Wyoming intend to set up voluntary pilot programs for schools to re-imagine student learning, they announced Friday.

"The focus will be around increased competency based learning, where students can move through standards at a unique pace, project based learning with completion of standards by solving real world problems, and work based programs predicated on credentials and partnerships with industry," according to a news release from Gov. Mark Gordon.

The collaborative effort launched Thursday when the Wyoming State Board of Education voted to partner with with Gordon, Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder, the Wyoming Department of Education, and the UW College of Education.

The pilot program idea arose from the Governor’s Reimagining and Innovating the Delivery of Education Advisory Group, Degenfelder’s strategic plan goals, the State Board of Education’s Profile of a Graduate, and UW's Portrait of an Educator.

Wyoming communities told education leaders they wanted to prepare students for a shifting economy and evolving world.

“I spent all of last year traveling the state and listening to school districts, community leaders, parents, and students about the need to innovate within our public schools," Degenfelder said.

"The willingness of the Governor, State Board and University to partner with us on this call for innovation is the key to our state achieving student centered education that best prepares students for the workforce,” she said.

The work will inform policy changes for assessment, accountability, and standards.

Dean Thomas, dean of the University of Wyoming's College of Education said educators across the state told him that they want student-centered innovation and competency-based approaches to teaching and learning.

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Lambert said, "The board appreciates the leadership of each of these partners in recognizing that not only what students learn but how they learn and apply it impacts their preparation for life after high school."

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