Governor Gordon’s Education Initiative Prepares Recommendations after Completing Listening Sessions
Written by Caleb Nelson on August 29, 2022
Governor Mark Gordon, who easily won his primary election this August, recently launched an education initiative, which has completed its statewide listening sessions and is currently preparing a series of policy recommendations.
Capitalizing on the momentum of a statewide survey that garnered “in excess of 7,000 responses,” the Governor’s Reimagining and Innovating the Delivery of Education (RIDE) Advisory Group hosted 17 listening sessions with more than 200 attendees.
Participants included parents, students, employers, district employees and community members. Some of the most common feedback received during the listening sessions included support for “more individualized approaches to learning,” including more flexibility for students “to move at their own pace.”
Attendees also advocated for addressing standards and expanding options to prepare students for careers and life, an approach that aligns with the “Profile of a Graduate” work that the State Board of Education is completing. Additional topics that were also emphasized included an increase of focus on early years (before third grade), including pre-kindergarten; increasing mental health support for students and educators; and teacher preparation, retention, and recruitment.
“We asked our citizens how they would improve Wyoming’s education system so we can better prepare students for successful careers in our changing world,” Governor Gordon says. “We heard a consistent message in both our small and large communities – they support their local teachers and want to maintain control. But we can do more to address challenges such as teacher retention, student engagement and the mental health of both students and staff members.”
According to a recent press release, the RIDE Advisory Group is currently identifying opportunities for innovative approaches based on implementation methods, both achievable and sustainable, to equip Wyoming students for success in a rapidly changing world. RIDE’s work will include reviewing innovations within Wyoming, as well as other states and nations while conferring with experts and the State Board of Education to examine how these approaches might fit in Wyoming. A summary of policy recommendations will be available for public review later this fall.
“It is abundantly clear that we need to appreciate the uniqueness of each student; and to promote an educational system centered on preparing each student for a productive and fulfilling future consistent with that student’s dreams and abilities,” RIDE Chairman John Masters says.