Wyoming Schools saw a 30% Decrease in Performance Since 2019
The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) announced in a press release that it has released its school accountability results for the 2021 to 22 school year after not reporting for two years.
According to the WDE data, 30% of Wyoming schools are performing at a lower level compared to pre-pandemic levels.
For the 2018 to 2019 school year, there were 45 schools that exceeded expectations, 129 schools that were meeting expectations, 84 schools that were partially meeting expectations, and 52 schools that were not meeting expectations.
For the 2021 to 2022 school year, 38 schools were exceeding expectations, 106 schools were meeting expectations, 85 schools were partially meeting expectations, and 63 schools were not meeting expectations.
Those expectations are based on post-secondary readiness, graduation rates, and student performance indicators, including academic achievement, equity, and growth based on the Wyoming Test of Proficiency and Progress (WY-TOPP), the state assessment.
For the most recent school year, 49% of traditional Wyoming schools are meeting or exceeding expectations and 57% of alternative Wyoming schools are meeting or exceeding alternative school expectations.
When it comes to test scores, some districts and grades show a similar story, as, just looking at Natrona County for 10th grade, scores for both WY-TOPP and WY-ALT show a decrease in proficiency for reading, math, and science.
From 2018 to 2019, 40.41% of students tested had either basic or below basic scores and 59.59% had either proficient or advanced scores for reading, while from 2021 to 2022, those numbers were 45.49% and 54.51% respectively.
The same is true for math with 55.26% at basic or below and 44.74% at proficient or advanced in 2019, while in 2022 those numbers were 58.68% and 41.32%, and for science in 2019, it was 41.52% at basic or below and 58.48% at proficient or advanced, compared to 51.47% and 48.53% in 2022.
Scores for sixth graders in Natrona County saw increases in reading but decreases for math from 2019 to 2022.
In reading, scores for sixth graders went from 43% basic or below and 57% proficient or advanced in 2019 to 44.62% basic or below and 55.38% proficient or advanced.
For math, scores for sixth graders went from 52.19% basic or below and 47.81% proficient or advanced in 2019 to 60.27% basic or below and 39.73% proficient or advanced.
There are currently 20 schools in Wyoming designated as needing comprehensive support and improvement, 32 schools designated as needing targeted support and improvement, and 16 schools designated as additional targeted support and improvement.
A Wyoming school with a graduation rate below 66.7% needs comprehensive support and improvement under federal accountability.
If a school has a specific group of students that are not performing well, it needs targeted support and improvement, and if a school has a specific group of students that are chronically not performing well, it needs additional targeted support and improvement.
From 2018 to 2021, the number of alternative schools with performance ratings decreased from 17 to 14.
Chad Auer, Deputy State Superintendent of Public Instruction, said in the release:
"State and federal accountability work in tandem to provide information about the overall performance of schools in Wyoming," Auer said. "These results provide a snapshot of how schools continue to move forward - in the face of disruptions - to meet the needs of students. At the state level, we assist in providing resources for all schools - with a continued focus on helping every school succeed."