State Releases PAWS Results

by Taylor Viydo, 


The Wyoming Department of Education has published the results from this years PAWS tests. Overall, students scores have improved on average in the four tested subjects of Math, Reading, Writing, and Science.  

The scores are aggregated and compared to the results since the test was first started in 2006. The results from the 2010 tests have been dismissed by the state after technical issues rendered the data unusable. The US Department of Education agreed with the state, and subsequently granted a waiver. Although the 2010 results are available online, the state is not taking them into consideration. 

However, scores are up across the board and the percentages of students who scored “proficient and advanced” out weigh those who scored “basic and below” in almost all of the categories. According to Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill, the PAWS test is scheduled to be used until at least 2013.  

However, Hill recognizes that some work still needs to be done. “A clearer focus on instruction,” said Hill, “we know we can do it. We have the talent from within in our state. Now we just need to focus.”  

At a press conference earlier today Hill also stressed the fact that the data obtained from the tests helps to give the department of education direction in how to better serve students. “Our focus on assessment is only a part of the puzzle. The most important pieces are what's happening inside the classroom with our teachers, our students, and our parents,” said Hill. 

Critics of PAWS say that the standardized test may bring teacher accountability into question. Hill disagrees, saying that teachers are not simply “teaching to the test.” “I find that teachers do what they were trained to do,” the superintendent said.