State Board of Education Adopts Computer Science Standards

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CHEYENNE – The Wyoming State Board of Education (SBE) voted to adopt Computer Science Standards into Chapter 10 rules during its meeting on Friday. Two key revisions were made to the standards before adoption. One revision added language to the definition of enhanced benchmarks to clarify that they are to be made available and optional to all students. An additional revision removed Performance Level Descriptors from the standards document, and made those available as a separate guidance document, similar to several other content areas.

“The state board consistently supported the adoption of new standards for Computer Science, that would be rigorous and help prepare students for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Walt Wilcox, Chairman of the State Board. “We are glad to have received the opinion from the Attorney General that will provide specific guidance to the board and ultimately districts about what is required and what is optional.”

The proposed Computer Science Standards will now go to Governor Mark Gordon for a 75-day review. Once adopted, school districts will have until the 2022-23 school year to align their curriculum to the standards.  

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The board also voted to promulgate Chapter 29 emergency rules, on district and school leader and teacher evaluation systems, to avoid a gap between the finalization of regular rules and the expiration of the current emergency rules on December 6. Revised Chapter 29 regular rules are currently out for public comment that closes on December 6, 2019.

The SBE first convened as the Board of State Board of Vocational Education to hear an update from the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) on the proposed Perkins Plan. The plan will be released for public comment in December. 

SBE Coordinator Dr. Thomas Sachse discussed suggested considerations for future content standards review committees, as they deliberate new standards for all subjects taught to students.

Sachse later reviewed the SBE’s compensation policy, the Basket of Good report presented to the Wyoming Joint Education Interim Committee and a request for proposal for a potential study on the impacts of the Wyoming Accountability in Education Act (WAEA) on school performance. 

During the administrative committee report, Facebook was adopted as a means to further communicate the work of the board with the public. The board also has a Twitter account @WYStateBoardEd.

The state board also tabled a discussion on Sweetwater #1 alternate graduation requirements. 

The next board meeting will be virtual and is scheduled for January 24, 2020. For more information about the SBE and its mission, visit https://edu.wyoming.gov/board.