On Friday, we took a look at Wyoming's schools as they compare to other states in terms of adequate yearly progress used to track school proficiency, with help from Sheryl Lain, who's an instructional leader with the Wyoming Department of Education.
Wyoming is performing far better than the national average with 82 percent of its schools testing proficient or advanced. Lain says part of that conversation involves the tool Wyoming uses to test schools, the Proficiency Assessment for Wyoming Students, or PAWS. One question would be, if Wyoming is performing better than other states, how does the individual state test measure up? A language arts expert, Lain says, in general terms, she thinks that Wyoming's test is unique, in a good way.
PAWS is fair yet rigorous, she says, because of that fact that is criterion-referenced instead of a normed test. For that reason, she says PAWS does what it's meant to do in preparing students and at the same time allowing teachers to teach kids things they should know.
Lain wrote an article on how Wyoming measures up against the rest of the country in terms of state test proficiency statistics, titled: 82% of Wyoming Schools Meet AYP Compared to 52% Nationally.