An exciting development for our state and movement against education reform! Lincoln County School District #2’s Board of Trustees and Chairman, Alan Linford, have written a letter to our state legislators. The letter states they, “feel some decisions have been made, and others are currently being proposed, that remove elements of local control and limit our ability as a Board and district to best meet the needs of our students and stakeholders.”
I am thrilled to hear a board make that statement rather than be resigned to the postion they are currently in with top-down education reform. They are elected to speak for their communities, even if they feel like throwing their hands up and saying,”It’s out of our control!” BRAVO!! Read the letter below:
January 14, 2014
Dear State Legislators:
As a school board we appreciate the challenges associated with trying to ensure that all students in Wyoming receive the best possible education. Lincoln County School District #2 shares that goal, and prides itself on being a high performing district while adhering to local, state, and federal rules and regulations. Additionally, we recognize that the state of Wyoming generously funds education and understand the expected accountability that accompanies this funding. We appreciate the generous funding level and support being accountable for our educational outcomes. We feel some decisions have been made, and others are currently being proposed, that remove elements of local control and limit our ability as a Board and district to best meet the needs of our students and stakeholders.
From our perspective, requirements from the state and federal levels appear to be constantly increasing and changing. It is getting increasingly more difficult for a district of our size to comply with all of the state and federal requirements, while continuing to improve outcomes for students. While we respect your role as legislators, we also value local control which enables us to meet the expectations of our stakeholders. We ask that you please consider our concerns in the upcoming legslative session.
We are also concerned about the ever-changing targets that we as a local district are facing. It seems like we are in a constant state of flux when it comes to standards, assessment, accountability, and other educational issues. We ask that you set direction, with input from all stakeholders, and then hold the course so that we have time to implement the things you are requiring. It is very taxing and counter-productive when we try to respond to state and federal mandates only to have them change before we complete the journey. While we wish to meet your high expectations, which often align with our own, it is increasingly difficult when the expectations change frequently.
Some of our stakeholders have some additional concerns that we would like you be be aware of. They are listed below.
• Data Privacy: Data should be strictly confidential and should only be shared within the state for education related purposes by those with a need-to-know-basis. It is imperative that personally identifiable information not be revealed or accessed by those outside of our school, district, or state.
• Top-down Approach: Intrusion from outside entities is an obstacle to improving educational outcomes in our district. The solution is not more top-down intrusion, no matter how well-intentioned, from any level of government.
• Stakeholder Involvement: Parents and other stakeholders want to continue to have a high-level of involvment in the decision-making process when it comes to educating our children.
Once again, we acknowledge the generosity with which you fund schools. We will continue to make every effort to provide our students with the world-class education that they deserve. Thanks for your consideration of our concerns.
Lincoln County School District #2 Board of Trustees
Alan Linford, Chairman