2021 Wyoming Statutes
Title 21 - Education
Chapter 2 - The Administration of the State System of Education at the State Level
Article 2 - Superintendent of Public Instruction and Department of Education
Section 21-2-204 - Wyoming Accountability in Education Act; Statewide Education Accountability System Created.
21-2-204. Wyoming Accountability in Education Act; statewide education accountability system created.
(a) This section shall be cited as the "Wyoming Accountability in Education Act."
(b) A statewide education accountability system shall be established by the state board through the department of education in accordance with this section, which implements the components of the education resource block grant model as defined by W.S. 21-13-101(a)(xiv) and as contained in Attachment "A" as defined under W.S. 21-13-101(a)(xvii). The first phase of this system shall be a school-based system that is based on student performance as determined through multiple measures of school performance. The goals of the Wyoming Accountability in Education Act are to:
(i) Repealed By Laws 2012, ch. 101, § 2.
(ii) Repealed By Laws 2012, ch. 101, § 2.
(iii) Become a national education leader among states;
(iv) Ensure all students leave Wyoming schools career or college ready;
(v) Recognize student growth and increase the rate of that growth for all students;
(vi) Recognize student achievement and minimize achievement gaps;
(vii) Improve teacher, school and district leader quality. School and district leaders shall include superintendents, principals and other district or school leaders serving in a similar capacity;
(viii) Maximize efficiency of Wyoming education;
(ix) Increase credibility and support for Wyoming public schools.
(c) School level performance shall be determined by measurement of performance indicators and attainment of student performance as specified by this section. To the extent applicable, each measure shall be aggregated to the school level based upon those grades served inclusive to each school as reported by the respective school district to the department of education. Except as provided in subsection (n) of this section, the indicators of school level performance shall be:
(i) Student longitudinal academic growth in English language arts and mathematics as measured by assessments administered under paragraph (ii) of this subsection, beginning in grade four (4) and for all subsequent grades for which a state summative achievement assessment is administered in the immediately preceding grade, including a standardized college readiness test in grade eleven (11);
(ii) Student academic achievement in English language arts, mathematics and science as measured by:
(A) The statewide assessment administered under W.S. 21-2-304(a)(v) in:
(I) English language arts and mathematics in grades three (3) through ten (10);
(II) Science in grades four (4), eight (8) and ten (10);
(III) Repealed by Laws 2015, ch. 99, § 2.
(B) Repealed by Laws 2017, ch. 95, § 5.
(iii) Repealed by Laws 2016, ch. 113, § 2.
(iv) Post secondary readiness, as defined to include college readiness and career readiness. School level performance shall be based upon the percentage of students meeting either college or career readiness. College readiness shall be measured by a standardized college entrance examination administered pursuant to W.S. 21-2-202(a)(xxx) in grade eleven (11) and other college readiness indicators as determined by the state board of education in consultation with the state superintendent. Career readiness shall be measured by student performance in accordance with other provisions of this title as determined by the state board of education in consultation with the state superintendent;
(v) Readiness, as defined by graduation or high school completion rates;
(vi) Readiness, as defined by ninth grade credit accumulation;
(vii) Equity as defined by a measure of academic student growth for students that score below the proficient standard in English language arts and mathematics, subject to a standard for academic progress that is linked to attainment of proficiency within a reasonable period of time. If a school is without a sufficient sequence of assessment scores to support growth computations, another approach to equity may be used subject to approval of the state superintendent;
(viii) English language proficiency as measured by student longitudinal progress on the Wyoming English language proficiency assessments used to evaluate and monitor the English language proficiency of students identified as English language learners.
(d) The department of education shall compute and report an overall school performance rating measured by student performance on those performance indicators specified under subsection (n) of this section for alternative schools and subsection (c) of this section for all other schools. Any school through its school district may seek informal review of any overall school performance rating or other performance determination in accordance with the following:
(i) Repealed By Laws 2012, Ch. 101, § 2.
(ii) Repealed By Laws 2012, Ch. 101, § 2.
(iii) Repealed By Laws 2012, Ch. 101, § 2.
(iv) Repealed by Laws 2015, ch. 179, § 3.
(v) Not later than fifteen (15) days after a school receives its overall performance rating or other performance determination from the department of education, the school district may seek an informal review with the state board. The state board shall make a final determination as to the overall performance rating or other performance determination within thirty (30) days after receipt of the request for review;
(vi) The state board shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the informal review process before the board as conducted under this subsection. The informal review process shall only examine whether the department properly computed and reported a school's overall performance rating or other performance determination or whether the school was unable to administer the statewide assessment. The state board may grant an exception to the state's accountability system requirements for a school for one (1) school year when the school demonstrates that it was unable to administer the statewide assessment for good cause. Except as otherwise provided by this paragraph, the informal review process shall not be used to grant exceptions to the state's accountability system or change components of the accountability model.
(e) The state board, through the department of education, shall establish long term and interim performance targets for all Wyoming schools for the indicators measured pursuant to subsections (c) and (n) of this section. The performance targets may be developed in consultation with one (1) or more advisory committees of education stakeholders. The state board shall utilize the performance targets in carrying out the duties and the deliberative process required under subsection (f) of this section.
(f) The state board, through the department of education, shall compile, evaluate and determine target levels for an overall school performance rating and for indicator level performance. The board shall execute this determination when a significant aspect of the school accountability system changes through a prescribed deliberative process informed by a panel selected by the state board comprised of broad based representation from both public education and the community at-large. The target levels for school performance shall be used by the state board through the department to:
(i) Identify four (4) levels of school performance tied to the overall school performance rating that demonstrate a range of performance levels as follows:
(A) Exceeding expectations including those schools performing above standards in all measured areas;
(B) Meeting expectations;
(C) Partially meeting expectations; and
(D) Not meeting expectations.
(ii) Further measure performance specified under paragraph (i) of this subsection by identifying indicator level performance in all areas specified by subsection (n) of this section for alternative schools and subsection (c) of this section for all other schools and from this analysis determine schools that are exceeding, meeting or are below targets in each content area;
(iii) Coordinate the target levels, school and indicator level determinations with the availability of the system of support, including comprehensive and targeted support and interventions administered in accordance with subsection (h) of this section.
(g) Repealed By Laws 2013, Ch. 195, § 4.
(h) For all schools a progressive system of support and intervention to assist schools shall be established by the state board through the department. The system shall increase the ability of schools and school districts to improve achievement and growth indicator performance and expand the ability for schools and school districts within the state to continuously improve. The system shall clearly identify and prescribe the actions for each level of support, including comprehensive and targeted support and intervention. The state superintendent shall take action based upon system results according to the following:
(i) Repealed By Laws 2012, Ch. 101, § 2.
(ii) Repealed By Laws 2012, Ch. 101, § 2.
(iii) Repealed by Laws 2017, Ch. 95, § 5.
(iv) Repealed by Laws 2017, Ch. 95, § 5.
(v) Schools designated as partially meeting expectations shall file an improvement plan with the school district superintendent and the department that identifies and addresses all content and indicator areas where performance is below target levels. The plan shall be based upon an evaluation of the strengths and deficiencies of specific indicator scores that identifies appropriate improvement goals with an explanation of the measures and methods chosen for improvement, the processes to be implemented to deliver the improvement measures, identification of relevant timelines and benchmarks and an articulation of the process for measuring success of the methods chosen to increase performance. The plan shall also include review of the design and implementation of the district's leader evaluation system developed pursuant to W.S. 21-2-304(b)(xvi) and 21-3-110(a)(xxx). The state superintendent shall appoint a representative in accordance with paragraph (vii) of this subsection to monitor the school's progress towards meeting the specified goals and implementation of the processes, measures and methods as contained in the school's plan. The representative shall assist the district in identifying and securing the necessary resources to support the goals as stated by the school and the district. Failure to meet improvement goals as specified in the plan for two (2) consecutive years may require that the school be subject to paragraph (vi) of this subsection;
(vi) Schools designated as not meeting expectations shall file an improvement plan in accordance with paragraph (v) of this subsection that identifies and addresses all content and indicator areas where performance is below target levels. The plan shall include review of the design and implementation of the district's leader evaluation system developed pursuant to W.S. 21-2-304(b)(xvi) and 21-3-110(a)(xxx). In addition, the evaluation of a district's student assessment system as provided by paragraph (vii) of this subsection may be undertaken in that school year immediately following any school year in which a school within the district has been designated as not meeting expectations. The state superintendent shall appoint a representative in accordance with paragraph (vii) of this subsection to assist in drafting the improvement plan, including the selection of programs and interventions to improve student performance. The representative shall perform duties as required by paragraph (v) of this subsection. The plan shall be recommended by the school district superintendent and approved by the local board of trustees prior to submission to the department. The plan shall describe the personnel and financial resources within the education resource block grant model as defined by W.S. 21-13-101(a)(xiv) necessary for implementation of the measures and methods chosen for improvement and shall specify how resources shall be reallocated, if necessary, to improve student performance;
(vii) A representative shall be appointed by the state superintendent, in consultation with the local board of trustees, for all schools designated under paragraphs (v) and (vi) of this subsection to serve as a liaison between the school district leadership and the department. The representative shall be an employee of the department, an employee of a Wyoming school district or any combination, and may require more than one (1) individual for schools requiring substantial intervention and support. Additionally, one (1) representative may be assigned to more than one (1) school. Among other duties as may be requested by the district or department, the representative shall review and provide suggestions on the improvement plans submitted by schools in accordance with paragraphs (v) and (vi) of this subsection, and may review and evaluate district student assessment systems implemented under W.S. 21-3-110(a)(xxiv) to ensure alignment with the uniform state education standards. After one (1) year of a school not meeting expectations under paragraph (vi) of this subsection, approval of the improvement plan by the representative appointed under this subsection shall be required. Requested resources for improvement plan implementation, or the reallocation of existing resources for plan implementation, shall be based upon a comprehensive review of the available research. Justification for resource allocation or reallocation shall be incorporated within the written improvement plan. The representative shall possess expertise appropriate to particular strategies incorporated within improvement plans to enable necessary plan evaluation, and shall be commensurate with the level of intervention and support to be administered under this subsection. The state superintendent shall annually report to the state board on the progress of each school in meeting annual goals and overall improvement targets, fully describing the effectiveness and deficiencies of efforts to improve school performance in performance categories prescribed by this section;
(viii) To the extent permitted by law and rule and regulation, plans submitted in compliance with paragraphs (v) and (vi) of this subsection shall serve to comply with similar requirements administered by the state superintendent and the department, and the state board shall ensure the plans minimize submission of duplicative information, material and the administrative burdens placed upon schools. In addition, the following shall apply to the plans submitted under this subsection:
(A) All plans submitted under this subsection shall be made available for public inspection through internet access as defined by W.S. 9-2-3219(a)(iii);
(B) Schools designated as partially meeting expectations under paragraph (v) of this subsection or designated as not meeting expectations under paragraph (vi) of this subsection shall file the required improvement plan the first year of designation and submit yearly updates on the progress towards the goals and strategies outlined in the improvement plan so long as the school maintains the same performance designation.
(ix) In addition to paragraphs (v) through (viii) of this subsection, the state board shall administer this subsection as part of school district accreditation required under W.S. 21-2-304(a)(ii), through appropriate administrative action taken in accordance with W.S. 21-2-304(b)(ii).
(j) Measured performance results obtained and collected pursuant to this section, together with subsequent actions responding to results, shall be combined with other information and measures maintained and acquired under W.S. 21-2-202(a)(xxi), 21-2-304(a)(v)(H), 21-3-110(a)(xxiv) and otherwise by law, to be used as the basis of a statewide system for providing periodic and uniform reporting on the progress of state public education achievement compared to established targets. The statewide accountability system shall include a process for consolidating, coordinating and analyzing existing performance data and reports for purposes of aligning with the requirements of this section and for determinations of student achievement incorporated into the statewide system. In establishing a reporting system under this subsection, the department shall describe the performance of each public school in Wyoming. The performance report shall:
(i) Include an overall school performance rating along with ratings for each of the indicators and content levels in the accountability system that:
(A) Supports the overall school performance rating; and
(B) Provides detailed information for analysis of school performance on the various components of the system.
(ii) In a manner to maintain student confidentiality, be disaggregated as appropriate by content level, target level, grade level and appropriate subgroups of students. For purposes of this paragraph, reported subgroups of students shall include at minimum, economically disadvantaged students, English language learners, identified racial and ethnic groups, students with a parent or guardian who is a member of the armed forces of the United States whether full-time or part-time, students with disabilities and full-time virtual education students;
(iii) Provide longitudinal information to track student performance on a school, district and statewide basis;
(iv) Include, through the use of data visualization techniques, the development of longitudinal student-level reports of assessment and other relevant readiness indicators that provide information to parents, teachers and other school personnel regarding student progress toward college and career readiness and other relevant outcomes. These reports shall be maintained by the district in each student's permanent record within the district's student data system; and
(v) Provide valid and reliable data on the operation and impact of the accountability system established under this section for use by the legislature to analyze system effectiveness and to identify system improvements that may be necessary.
(k) Not later than September 1 of each year, or November 1 in years in which there is a significant change to the statewide assessment system or the statewide accountability system, as determined by the state board, the state board through the state superintendent shall report to the joint education interim committee the results of the accountability system for each school in the state. In addition, beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, after any significant change to the statewide assessment system or the statewide accountability system as determined by the state board, the state board may evaluate the state's accountability system to ensure that:
(i) System components remain reliable, valid and fair;
(ii) System stakeholders receive, understand and use accountability information to improve student outcomes; and
(iii) The system remains as stable as possible.
(m) As used in this section:
(i) "Alternative school" means a school approved under W.S. 21-13-309(m)(v)(B);
(ii) Repealed by Laws 2019, ch. 109, § 2.
(n) For alternative schools, the indicators of school level performance shall be:
(i) Academic achievement and growth;
(ii) Readiness for college and careers;
(iii) Measures of school quality including climate;
(iv) Measures of engagement including implementation of student success plans.