I don’t know. In a successful attempt to squeeze more summer out of the year, I went to the beach instead. I got there around 5:30, swam for a bit, took a walk, and just sat. It was wonderful – no crowds, plenty of free parking, and great air. Waves not so much – kind of blown out by the storm.

But I did look over the agenda and noticed that among the items to be rubber stamped was a long overdue pay increase for substitute teachers. For a long time, the district has not had enough subs available. But no one seemed to connect the fact that subs were being paid a pittance with the fact that they couldn’t get enough subs. All the while, however, there has been plenty of money for the bureaucrats.

Go figure.

The raise still isn’t enough but it’s something.

Also on the agenda was the formality of approving Annette Franco as Community and Public Relations Officer (CPRO). (Sorry, but the acronym for Franco’s position reminds me of the Star Wars character C3PO.) In case you are wondering, and I know you are, there is no relation between Annette Franco and Trustee Judy Franco.

Speaking of (Judy) Franco, she is moving from a member of the Costa Mesa Youth Sports Council to alternate member on behalf of the board. File that one for now.

The agenda item that made me chuckle, however, was one that got the admin twisted in a knot trying to explain. Here’s the wording from the agenda item:

“Newport-Mesa Unified School District Policy and Rule and Regulation #6141.1 specify that addition(s)/revision(s)/deletion(s) to the Middle and High School Courses of Study shall be submitted to the Board of Education for approval. Course addition(s) have been reviewed and approved by the Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction, Secondary School Principal(s) and appropriate Curriculum Committee(s) before submission to the Board of Education. It has been certified that the applicable course addition(s)/revision(s) are aligned with the State Board of Education adopted content standards (Section 60605), blah, blah, blah.”

OK, yes, I added the last three words.

So in the age of ensuring that our students remain competitive in our global economy, in the era of Common Core, which is designed to create more well-prepared graduates, and to support the district’s belief that every high school graduate should go to college even if they don’t want to, what in the world is this extremely important course that is aligned with the State Board of Education content standards?

Is it more calculus? Advanced Latin? AP statistics? How about super advanced Chemistry?

Sorry, none of these. The ultra-important new course just added is… Competitive Sailing.

Ahoy, taxpayers!

Steve Smith