Cindy Hill, State Superintendent of Wyoming, stood up against federal insurgence into the state-held right to educate. She stood up against nationalized testing. She opposed Common Core.
For having the backbone and integrity to do these things, she has been stripped of her Wyoming Constitutional rights as superintendent, has been given ceremonial duties only, has been moved out of her office into a museum, and she’s had her former role replaced by an invented position dubbed “Department of Education Director”.
Big Wyoming newspapers slam Cindy Hill. Small Wyoming papers defend her. Thousands of citizens signed a petition to get Cindy Hill reinstated. A lawsuit on the matter is ongoing.
Cindy Hill keeps fighting– not just for her job and her rights, but for the proper role of government in this precedent-setting drama.
Here’s a letter to the editor of WYOfacts news, in defense of Cindy Hill, that moved me. It’s written by former teacher of the year Joan Brummond.
Thank you, Joan, for setting the example in speaking out, regardless of personal consequences.
July 22, 2013
To the Editor:
I worked for Cindy Hill before she became Superintendent of Public Instruction. She is a problem solver like few administrators. She keeps the kids in mind in everything she does. I am amazed at her energy and work ethic. I am not at all surprised that in her abbreviated term heading the Wyoming Department of Education, test scores in reading and math went up, an unprecedented improvement. And I know, though she denies it, she is responsible for this positive result. She says it wasn’t her but the teachers who did the work. Well, that’s true, but it takes a leader with the ability to stay focused to do the hard work and achieve the results for kids.
As a life-long educator, a former Teacher of the Year for Wyoming, a member of Leadership Wyoming and a former president of the National State Teachers of the Year, I know a remarkable leader when I see one. Cindy Hill is that person. As a registered democrat, I voted for her because personal knowledge of a person’s integrity and mission to improve the school lives of students, trumps politics every single time.
So I have been outraged and disgusted by the politics behind SF 104. What is going on, political leaders? Why ignore the facts that she did her job and did it legally, morally and responsibly? Why deny the Constitution that gives her general supervision of our schools? Why use my money—and that of all taxpayers—to hold one sham investigation after another. Why make a mockery of the law by trying to impeach her?
No investigation ever uncovered any valid offense. Yet, the legislature is doggedly moving ahead with plans to impeach her, making expensive investigatory committees filled with people who voted against her in the first place. What’s fair about that? We teachers wouldn’t put up with this kind of unfairness on the playground; why put up with it from our lawmakers?
All this furor makes me wonder what her enemies are trying to hide? It makes me wonder if other politicians and bureaucrats need to be investigated, those who just might be skimming off the taxpayer’s bounty.
It’s a dark day in Wyoming politics. I’m like a lot of other people—I’d rather keep my head down and do my own life. But when should we Americans stand up? I’m old enough to remember the Holocaust, to remember and take to heart the words of the minister, Martin Niemoller, who said:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.
It’s the American way to stand up. I do it on behalf of the truth and our way of life. Let’s reinstate Cindy Hill to do her work and cut out the nonsense. Our students are losing precious time.
Joan Brummond, former Teacher of the Year