The ads that claim this always make me chuckle. What does “treat you like family” mean, exactly?

Does it mean that you’re going to borrow money and not pay it back? Does it mean that you are going to leave messes around the house for me to clean up? Does it mean you’re going to borrow my car and return it with an empty tank of gas?

I thought of those ridiculous ads when I read board pres Martha Fluor’s statement after several classrooms were flooded  – the statement in which she said the district was like a family and “we help each other out” or something close to that.

Fluor’s remark is consistent with the claims in those ads. The recent Common Core results for Costa Mesa show that the district is treating Costa Mesa’s students, parents and teachers like family members, that is, they’re being ignored and are being treated like they are a nuisance.

The percentage of students in the Costa Mesa schools who FAILED to meet the state standards in Common Core are:

Adams                        78    87
California                    50    45
TeWinkle                     67    58
College Park                83    80
CM High         `           67    57
Estancia                      83    49
Rea                             89    89
Kaiser                          43    38
Killybrooke                   52    43
Davis                           26    25
Paularino                     66    61
Pomona                       71    73
Sonora                        69    55
Victoria                        70    60
Whittier                       83    83
Wilson                         72    73

Looks a lot difference when you see the numbers that FAILED, doesn’t it? And when you break out the Costa Mesa schools from the entire district, it’s easier to see the systemic problem that the CM schools have been facing for a long time.

So where’s the “family” to help the CM schools? Where are mom and dad to swoop in with a long-term, strategic plan to help the teachers at these schools in a successful turnaround operation? Where are CM trustees, brother and sister, Walt Davenport and Vicki Snell with their outrage and their own plans?

Where’s the superintendent, grandpa, with his comments and his plan?

Nowhere, that’s where.

When the going got tough, this “family” disowned the students, parents, and teachers.

But it’s all going to be OK. When he gives his state of the schools speech in a couple of weeks, I’m sure the Super will provide us with a detailed plan to turnaround the failing CM schools.

In the meantime, the admin and the board could do Costa Mesa’s students, parents, and teachers a big favor and stop treating them like family.

Steve Smith

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