Academic Achievement

Relative to other states, student performance in Wyoming is higher than average. Fourth graders stand 6 percentage points above the national average of 42% in the percentage at or above the proficient level on the NAEP math exam.

Academic Achievement for Low-Income and Minority Students

Wyoming earns a very high grade on academic achievement for low-income and minority students. Thirty-five percent of low-income 4th graders score at or above the proficient level on the NAEP math exam—10 percentage points above the national average. Because the state does not have a large enough African-American student population to meet NAEP sampling requirements, Wyoming’s grade is based solely on low-income and Hispanic students. 

Return on Investment

Student achievement in Wyoming is very low relative to state spending after controlling for cost of living. 

Truth in Advertising: Student Proficiency

Wyoming posts mediocre marks on the credibility of its student proficiency scores. The grade is based on the difference between the percentage of students identified as proficient in reading and math on the 2011 state exams and the percentage identified as proficient on the 2011 NAEP reading and math tests.

Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness

Wyoming earns a below average grade in preparing its students for college and careers. Only 10 students out of 100 pass an AP exam, one of the lowest figures in the country.

21st Century Teacher Force

Wyoming does a below average job of creating a strong teacher workforce. The state especially struggles with producing well-prepared teachers.

Parental Options

Wyoming does a poor job providing parents with strong school choice options. The Cowboy State’s charter school law is weak, with authorizing power solely in the hands of school boards, and there are limited school choice options for students.

Data Quality

Wyoming earns an average grade collecting and reporting high-quality education data. The state has policies and funding to support a longitudinal data system but stakeholders have limited access to data on school performance.


Wyoming receives an average grade employing technology to provide quality instruction and personalized learning. Despite the availability of a number of high-quality digital learning providers, state infrastructure could be improved to more fully support digital learning.

International Competitiveness

Wyoming earns a middling grade preparing its students to compete in a global economy. Thirty-five percent of students are proficient in reading and math compared with an international standard.

Fiscal Responsibility

Wyoming receives high marks on fiscal responsibility, with 80% of the state’s pension funded.