The Wyoming State Board of Education (SBE) declined to vote on a draft set of Computer Science standards on Thursday, March 21, opting instead to have a review committee continue to examine them.
“As many in the audience have suggested, it’s better to get these right than rush to approve them,” Walt Wilcox, chairman of the board, noted in a press release. “We’ll work to meet our timeline imposed by the legislative mandate and approve standards that are best for the children of Wyoming. It is important this is done by delivering focused and simplified high-quality standards that are realistic for educators to deliver and attainable for learners.”
The took testimony from more than 50 individuals on Thursday. According to the release, some in the audience praised the rigor and comprehensiveness of the standards, while others asked the board to “tap the brakes” on the approval process and refine the standards to make them more accessible, especially at the elementary grade levels.
After two unsuccessful motions, the SBE voted to fund another two-day meeting of the Computer Science Standards Review Committee, so it can revise the draft Computer Science Standards for further consideration by the state board.
Technically, the SBE has until January 2022 to approve the standards. However, the standards have to be implemented fully by fall of 2022. The Computer Science Standards Review Committee plans to meet again in early April.
The SBE also voted to convene a committee of practitioners to review the entire set of content standards in 10 subject areas. According to input from hundreds of educators and parents, the totality of content standards could be too much to deliver effectively, given the timeframe of the 175-day school year.
According to the release, the board now hopes to receive input from educators, parents, and other stakeholders about how to advise the Wyoming Department of Education in drafting new sets of standards that are rigorous, but less comprehensive.
The next board meeting is scheduled for April 25, in Gillette.