FCSD#25: School board discussed State DOE concerns; Superintendent detailed work on achievement levels

Riverton Schools Superintendent Terry L. Snyder (EO)

(Riverton, Wyo.) – Discussion at this week’s regular meeting of Riverton school trustees included some frustration over the turn of events in Cheyenne with the removal of the State Supt. of Public Instruction from the day-to-day operations of the Wyoming Department of Education.

At a Wyoming State School Board’s Association dinner held in Riverton last week, that topic generated some discussion, according to trustee Carl Manning. Most frustrating according to Manning was the fact that the public’s voice has been taken out of the Dept. of Education’s operation. “It’s been totally disassembled, There is no person in charge of things whose been elected,” he said during the board comment period. “The Wyoming State School board is now the place to go,” he said. While noting that the  Dept. of Education “still takes care of looking at us and using our info so it can be assessed,” he said the new director there is appointed and the State. Supt. is a constitutional figurehead. “There are two positions now, it didn’t make it any cheaper and they only answer to the Governor and Legislature.”

FCSD#25 B&W logoIn other comments, Superintendent Terry Snyder said he had spent three days on a Professional Judgment Panel in Casper last week with 29 other educators from around the state to determine classification cut points for student achievement levels. The cuts determine the different levels of a student’s proficiency in a subject.   “There was lots of dialogue and debate and I’m hoping the legislators and public can look at the data and see if the classifications are reasonable, unlike the AYP,” he said. “We’re in a transition of tests and this year’s is different than last year’s and so on. The cut scores have to be reset each year, so the results are not comparable.” Snyder said that was unfortunate. “We have to get to that point where the results are meaningful to the public, plus the kids, parents and teachers. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting there.” Snyder said a decision needs to be made and then “to stick with it so we can see how are students are doing. The judgements now are not well founded.”

Snyder also said he was quite impressed with the new Central Wyoming College Health and Science Center that was dedicated last Friday. “But I’m more impressed with the programs inside those walls, the science, chemistry and physics labs on the ground floor, but the really wonderful part was the second floor nursing area,” he said. “I was very impressed with the simulated hospital area with the sensory responsive patient mannequins. CWC has one of the finest nursing programs in the nation and I have to commend the community and the college for that kind of programming.”