The Director of Instruction for Laramie County School District#1 says people shouldn't think schools will be held to a lower standard under a new federal education law.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) will allow states to implement their own standards for school accountability. By contrast the No Child Left Behind Law that it replaces held schools to a national set of standards.

But Steve Newton says that doesn't mean a "dumbing down" of education standards under the new law. He says, on the contrary, the Wyoming accountability standards are in many ways more comprehensive than the federal standards.

But he says what is more important is that the new standards allow Wyoming to design its education system to meet its own needs.

Newton says another problem with the NCLB was that it penalized underperforming schools in poor areas by taking away federal funding.

He says "most people would recognize" that if a school is performing poorly, taking away money isn't likely to improve school performance.