(Reader note: This blog post is a follow-up to my Daily Pilot (DP) column on the same topic. You can read the DP column by clicking here.)
On September 24, Superintendent Frederick Navarro will give his first “State of the Schools” address. The address will be given at 7 a.m. on a weekday, which is just great for the many parents who are hustling to get their kids to school and get to work on time.
But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that if you want to hear the speech, you’ll have to pay $32 for a breakfast that includes the privilege of hearing the speech. Yes, that is correct: $32 to hear a speech both Barack Obama and Jerry Brown not only give for free, but they give it at a time when you can actually stop and listen. What a concept. Gives a new meaning to the term “free speech.”
But, that’s how it goes when you’ve lost sight of your mission and your constituency.
If you click through and read the DP column, you’ll see my recommendations for fixing this travesty, so I won’t repeat them here. What you won’t see anywhere is a defense of this breakfast by the folks on Bear St. Instead, they will stick to the game plan that has perpetuated the status quo for many years. That game plan is, in a few words, “Don’t initiate any communication on the issues and never, ever, respond to criticism.”
The last time any sitting board member wrote a DP column? According to my search of the DP archives, that would be Karen Yelsey about 3 1/2 years ago. Don’t expect that to change. After all, it’s an election year and incumbents are good at keeping a low profile vs. actually taking a stand on the issues
No one can say what the speech will reveal. I’m guessing that in an election year, Navarro won’t say anything negative and take the chance that it could damage the campaign of an incumbent. So don’t expect any detail on plans to turnaround a few of the schools on Costa Mesa’s Westside, don’t expect details on the bungling of the cheating incident at CdM and don’t expect any firm position on the proposal for the charter school on the Westside.
Around here, that approach is now known as “Let them eat (pan)cakes.”
Steve Smith is a candidate for a school board seat in Area 1.
YouTube interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-t2qTl2WJs