Governor Mark Gordon’s Reimagining and Innovating the Delivery of Education (RIDE) advisory group has released a report on a survey it conducted on Wyoming residents.

The survey included 7,705 Wyoming residents, over 50%, or 4,030, of which were parents, 2,624 were school district employees, 1,829 were concerned citizens, and the rest were split between groups like current students, former students, and retired educators.

Throughout the survey, people were asked various questions about the state of the education system in Wyoming, and what areas could be improved upon.

One of the questions asked, "Do you feel that the current way we educate children prepares them for the future," 58.6% of respondents answered no.

The yes and no groups were then split between what their top 10 education priorities were, with learning outcomes and expectations at 28.5% for the yes group and 44.3% for the no group.

Another topic, pay, funding, money, costs, came in at 7% for yes and 9.2% for no, for which the survey also included an excerpt from one of the respondents, who said:

"Our educators do a phenomenal job given the diminished resources and declining number of educators. What would benefit our education system is diversification of our economy to fully fund education in Wyoming, not cut corners by cutting costs and then expecting better student achievement results. Our state’s economy and the state itself should catch up to our education system, our education system should not be brought down to the level of the state."

The survey also asked, "When specifically thinking about 'reimagining and innovating the delivery of education,' what exciting and innovative ideas do you have as we continue to educate the children of Wyoming?"

Each answer was separated into certain categories, with overall teacher feedback at the most with 1,026 responses, followed by learning outcomes and expectations with 895, class content and structure with 560, and pay/funding at 440.

Farther down the list are also topics like sports, exercise, and physical wellbeing with 98 responses, critical race theory, with 97, masks, vaccine, COVID at 89, class size with 58, and bullying with 40.

The answers in this section of the survey don't specify what position the people offering the specific suggestions have on any of the listed issues.

The next step in the process includes eight listening sessions across the state in June and July to get more public input on the survey and what the state should do next.

  • June 14-15 Afton, LCSD Administration Building
  • June 15-16 Rock Springs, Holiday Inn
  • June 21-22 Powell, Northwest Community College
  • June 22-23 Riverton, Central Wyoming Community College
  • July 19-20 Gillette, Gillette College
  • July 20-21 Casper, Casper College
  • July 26-27 Cheyenne, Wyoming Capitol
  • July 27, Virtual, no current registration

Gordon said in a press release that the RIDE advisory group plans to do more work in the future besides the survey.

"This report is a great place to start reimagining education because it is constructive feedback, not an indictment of our schools. It’s always good to take an honest look at our performance and I’m deeply appreciative of the number of Wyomingites that are engaged in this effort," Gordon said. "This is a chance for us to gather information and identify opportunities about how and where we can improve. I encourage anyone who has taken the time to make their thoughts known to continue their involvement through the community listening sessions. And for those who have not, this is an opportunity for you to now get involved."

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