State accountability measures show most Wyoming schools are meeting or partially meeting expectations.

The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE), Tuesday afternoon, released the federal and state accountability determinations for the 2014-2015 school year.

According to federal accountability determinations, only 17% of Wyoming schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), but Superintendent Jillian Balow says that's not an accurate reflection of how schools are doing.

"I don't know that very many people would agree that only 17% of our schools in Wyoming are making adequate progress," said Balow. "When we look at the state accountability ratings we have about 60% of our schools that are meeting expectations or exceeding expectations and that is a much more accurate glimpse of what our schools are doing."

Balow asks that the public and school districts focus more on the state accountability ratings versus the AYP ratings.

"Federally AYP is focused on student proficiency only," said Balow. "The statewide accountability ratings allow us to focus on multiple measures. It's a more holistic look at Wyoming achievement and growth of our students."

Chief Policy Officer Brent Young says the WDE is using the state accountability system to guide school improvement efforts.

"You have a very valid Wyoming accountability model now that is going to be able to judge how our students are responding to these standards in a multiple of ways, more than what the federal accountability model has been able to give us," said Young. "Schools are going to be able to take a look at indicators in the accountability model and see where they need to focus their planning efforts."

"Now is the time to take a hard look at where schools are at and what needs to be done to get them to the next level," said Balow. "This data gives us the valid measure needed to get schools where we want them and fortify Wyoming's future."

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