Tonight’s school board meeting will start with more administrative shuffling with the election of a new president, VP, and a host of liaisons and representatives. It’s more of the same and it never makes a difference. Think of the last time that any significant academic performance improvement ever came out of any of this rotating of board members or those taxpayer funded conferences they attend.

Has it been THAT long?

Even the one big initiative this year – the program to catch kids at risk of substance abuse – did not come from a committee meeting or a conference, but from a PTA meeting in Newport Beach.

But, this is what people who have no clue do when they have no clue. This makes it look to everyone else like something is being done when nothing is being done.

Martha Fluor ran a good meeting and I will be sorry to see her go for that reason, but otherwise, you will not notice any difference except in the nameplates in front of the board members.

Following the election silliness, it will be rubber stamping time as a shopping list of taxpayer funded items gets approved unanimously and without any questions or concerns from any of the board members. Merry Christmas, vendors!

Then we’ll hear what the board members have been doing for the past two weeks – the usual ribbon cutting and other event attendance.

What you will not hear is anything about a long-term, comprehensive strategic plan to improve academic performance at Costa Mesa’s schools. You won’t even hear a plan to try to turnaround one school as a test.

Why won’t you hear this? Because they don’t know how to do it, that’s why. But instead of checking their collective egos at the door, the admin and the board will continue to allow kids to be promoted before they are able to read at grade level.

Oh, but wait, I forgot: All third-grade kids will be reading at grade level by April because the superintendent said that such an “amazing breakthrough” is possible if everyone closes their eyes and clicks the heels of their ruby red slippers.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Steve Smith