I donít want the federal government involved in my life any more than the rest of you. In fact, I have mixed feelings about those children in Washington shutting the whole thing down over two weeks ago.
Some are suffering because of it and I feel sympathy for them. I have friends and family who havenít been paid this month because of the shutdown ó people who have families to feed.
But part of me enjoys seeing the folks in Washington (on both sides) being exposed for what I think most of them really are ó a bunch of jackasses.
Donít get me wrong; Iím not saying all of them are selfish, incompetent adolescents. In fact, I saw an unfamiliar ray of hope just last week when, across the state line, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert appointed Spencer Cox as his new Lt. Governor.
I know Cox personally and feel there isnít a better man for the job. When I read of his appointment, I smiled for the rest of the day because I was so happy for him and so happy for the state of Utah.
I am sure there are similar good men and women in Wyoming politics, though I am just as sure they are few and far between.
But back to the feds.
I had the pleasure last week of attending the Evanston Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon. I immediately noticed upon entering the school board room, a projector shining the words, ďCommon Core StandardsĒ on the wall.
Iíve read stories and letters to the editor in this newspaper and others, strongly opposing the Common Core State Standards, which were signed into Wyoming law in July 2011. Iíve actually read quite a few of them.
It was enlightening at the meeting when Wyoming State Rep. Alan Jaggi said the grand majority of the emails he receives opposing Common Core donít even mention the standards at all. I thought back to the many letters Iíd read and thought, ďWow, heís exactly right.Ē I even felt a little embarrassed that I hadnít caught that.
I wondered: do these people so strongly opposing the standards even know what the standards are? They donít address the standards so I can only conclude that they have no problem at all with raising the standards for Wyoming students to better prepare them for college and the real world.
So why do they oppose Common Core? They argue that the feds are going to come in and take over our schools. I think thatís crazy. Not because I deny a good conspiracy when I see one. But because I think ďthe fedsĒ are mostly lazy bums and completely incapable of such a thing.
Some who oppose Common Core say it is just a cover for data mining or gathering information on children. Hello? Anyone here heard of the NSA? Those three letters fill my soul with rage. In fact, Iíve written letters to my representatives in Washington to let them know how angry I am about illegal government spying.
But my point is this: if this overbearing government wants more information on my child, or your children, I believe they will get it quite easily, without masking it as Operation Common Core Data Mining. That just seems like an awful lot of work for people who have proven quite clearly over the past few weeks that they are incapable of performing their own job duties.
I agree with Dr. James Bailey when he says the Common Core State Standards are higher and better standards than the system currently in place.
And I agree with Rep. Jaggi when he says, ďWherever [the standards] come from, if theyíre good, we ought to use them.Ē
Letís put our kids first and embrace a higher standard. They need it. We need it.
And letís use our tin foil for baking, not crafting pointy little hats.