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Report: Governor’s RIDE Advisory Group calls for ‘relatively fundamental changes’ to Wyoming’s education system

2022 Kelly Walsh High School graduation. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — On Monday, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s Reimagining and Innovating the Delivery of Education Advisory Group released its final report after being tasked with coming up with recommendations to improve the state’s education system.

“The major takeaway from this report is that the state’s future lies in creating a student-centered educational experience, and offering students rigorous pathways to the workforce regardless of whether or not they attend a four-year college,” the RIDE Advisory Group’s report stated. “The Advisory Group believes that students should be able to progress through academic content as soon as they are ready; advancement should be a product of mastery, not of seat time.”

Some of the recommendations the RIDE Advisory Group is calling for could mean significant changes for Wyoming if implemented.

“Truly implementing these proposals will require relatively fundamental changes to the state’s education system — but those are the changes the public wants,” the report said regarding some of the major recommendations it is providing to the governor and education policymakers in the state.

The final report was created in the wake of surveys of over 7,000 stakeholders and 17 listening sessions the RIDE Advisory Group held in seven communities in Wyoming, a press release from the governor’s office said.

“Information and knowledge are mushrooming,” John Masters, chair of the RIDE Advisory Group, said in the press release. “Our education system — and all within it — cannot merely keep pace, we must lead. To do this requires new instructional thinking and creativity. RIDE encourages change.”

The recommendations RIDE developed include the suggestion that the governor, state superintendent and Wyoming Board of Education work out more detailed implementation plans to meet the outlined goals.

“Wyoming has outstanding educators and schools, along with committed parents and businesses who care about education,” Gordon said. “These recommendations were developed collaboratively to help highlight ways to build on our existing strengths. Key to this review is the belief that Wyoming should never be afraid to embrace innovative, personalized approaches to ensure all students are prepared to continue their educational journey or enter the workforce.”

The full report can be reviewed below: