The $32 2015 State of the Schools event at Estancia High School had a lot in common with the twice-monthly school board meetings: They are notable not for what was said, but for what was not said. More accurately, it was notable for what was avoided.

This year’s taxpayer-supported morning was no exception. First, the small point. The first two speakers, board president Martha Fluor and Pat Courter of the Newport-Mesa Schools Foundation, made a point of exclaiming that the $32 breakfast was “sold out.” Is that a lie? Strictly speaking, no, but it is disingenuous because both speakers left out one teensy weensy detail: At the registration deadline, there were seats available. In order to avoid $32 worth of breakfast egg on their faces, the administration used some sleight of hand and extended the deadline. Voila! Seats are filled and embarrassment is avoided.

Under normal circumstances, I would offer a detailed breakdown of what you paid for, but I have a Plan B for that which you will read about in a few days.

So, in the meantime, here’s a taste:

The breakfast was held on a weekday morning when most of us were working. The people who most needed to hear an update – the parents of students in the schools on Costa Mesa’s Westside – were more likely to be working and unable to attend than the parents in any other part of either city. So they have to settle for the video.

But in the end, they saved themselves $32 and a lot of grief. There was no information on plans to improve academic performance in those schools and nothing about how the administration plans to improve the embarrassing Common Core scores throughout the district.

They also avoided one other important subject, but you’ll have to wait for that one.

So while teachers were in their classrooms desperately trying to get kids to understand math, English, history, or any of the other subjects according to the failed Common Core approach to learning, their bosses were feasting on $32 worth of breakfast to hear what they already knew: Everything in the district is great. Really, it is. They said so.

OBTW, taxpayers, according to my calculations, there were at least 70 district employees at the $32 breakfast, which constitutes close to a third of the entire crowd.

You should hope they enjoyed their $32 breakfast. After all, you paid for them to be there.

Steve Smith

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