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Wyoming can and should have the best education system in the nation.

Palmer speaking at the Lander Valley High School graduation.

We rank sixth in the nation in spending per pupil and 32nd in the nation in graduation rate. Our investments in education are leading to improvement, but we still have much work to do. The recently adopted Common Core State Standards are proven high standards that will stretch and invigorate our students. The accountability legislation passed this past year, while not perfect, is also a positive step forward for our students. These two measures properly implemented will provide a valuable framework for our school districts.

The 2013 legislative session will further delineate Wyoming’s accountability program, including implications for staff evaluations. I believe that our educators need evaluations that include both quantitative and qualitative components. Accountability must focus on increasing capacity in our educators and improving student performance.

The Legislature’s role is to give districts and our teachers a clear understanding of what the state expects of our educational institutions. Then each district must be given the latitude to educate our children to those standards using the curriculum, techniques and tactics that make the most sense in our individual communities.

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