If you go to the home page of the district’s website, you’ll see an announcement that the N-MUSD is taking applications to become members of the “Superintendent’s Trustee Area Boundary Review Advisory Committee.” Click on that and you’ll see a downloadable form in both English and Spanish.

That’s where the fun stops. Download the form and right after the basic name and address requests, you’ll be asked where you work, where you went to school, and how much education you have. Why does the district need this? They don’t. This form is the standard form used whether you want to be on this committee or any other. No one in the bloated bureaucracy of Bear St. took a moment to think that perhaps this extremely important issue – one of the most important in the 30 years I have been living here – should require a new form designed to attract people, not turn them off. No college? Sorry, no admittance.

On page two you will be asked all about your civic involvement, including this one: “Describe your skills, training and experience in education. (You may attach additional sheets if needed.) (Optional)”

That request is the deal-breaker, designed to purposely weed out anyone who is not running with the same crowd on Bear St. “What’s that? No education skills, training, or experience? Sorry. But thanks for applying!”

Then you’ll be asked for personal references. Yes, you will.

The fact is that there is more information required of committee applicants than is required of anyone who wants to run for a seat on the school board club.

This application is a farce and tells me that the committee will be packed with people who will preserve the status quo.

Oh, and here’s another thing… When your application is ready, you have to go old school to get it delivered, that is, you have to snail mail it or hand deliver it. The application cannot be completed online and returned electronically, it cannot be printed/completed/scanned/ and e-mailed, and it cannot even be faxed. The submission instructions are quite clear:

“Completed applications are to be submitted to the Superintendent, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, 2985 Bear Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Deadline for application submission is Friday, October 21, 2016. Completed applications become public records and cannot be kept confidential by law. Should you have any questions, please call (714) 424-5030.”

The district talks about preparing our students for the “21st Century” [sic] economy but they need to start leading by example. Not only is the application out of touch with easily available technology, but the bureaucrats at the school board club meetings would do well by setting a better example and becoming far more efficient (and saving taxpayer dollars!) by typing notes on a laptop computer instead of scrawling them down on paper, which then have to be transferred to… a computer.

Gold Ribbon Report Update

Supposed to be delivered in “early October.” Just a friendly reminder…

State-of-the-Schools Breakfast

As of last night at 10 p.m. you could still buy a ticket. Too bad that the event occurred at 7 a.m. that morning. Not sold out, but probably packed once again with district people. But again, at least this year it was held early in the morning because we all know how anxious all the Bear St. bureaucrats were to get back to their desks.

CdM High Update

I received information yesterday that those students who disrupted the CdM-NHHS football game were given five-day suspensions which have been whittled down to one day. If that’s true (I’m waiting for confirmation), it is supporting evidence for what I wrote on Sunday. CdM is out of control not because, as principal Kathy Scott wrote, the school is “…struggling with a disconnect within our parent community where a pervasive culture exists that allows or tolerates their children to bend or break the law and violate district policies.”

I wrote Sunday that many years of coddling, looking the other way,. selective punishment, or whatever you want to call it, has led to the culture in the school.

By canceling homecoming festivities – by punishing the overwhelming majority of the students who were civil – the district is hoping that the good kids will shame the bad ones into righteous behavior. It’s an easy way out so that the district doesn’t have to look like the bad guy.

And what of the district’s zero tolerance policy against attending any school event under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances? Anyone want to guess how many kids felt the impact of that policy?

I didn’t think so.

Former district employee Jane Garland is probably not surprised that the district has not mentioned the incident again. Garland complained about a disciplinary double standard with “high profile kids” who skated punishment. Garland stated recently that after the CdM cheating scandal that Supt. Frederick Navarro asked her if any of the students involved were “high profile or playing football.”

And speaking of the superintendent… You’d think that he would take a leadership position on this issue. Maybe issue a firm statement. Maybe make a personal visit. Maybe even organize a blue ribbon committee with a standard application form (that you have to mail in) so that the right people could be attracted and issue a report stating that the incident was just a few bad apples and all is well.

You’d think that, but you’d be wrong. Instead, as he has in the past, he let a subordinate take the heat. All of it.

Calendar reminders 

There is a school board meeting tonight at 6 p.m. at 2985 Bear St. Unlike the meeting on Sept. 13, perhaps the most important of the year, the Supt. should be there. That is, unless he is at another deposition.

I’ve been asked to inform you that there is another school board forum coming up:

Question and Answer Forum
Mesa Verde Methodist Church
1701 Baker St., Costa Mesa
Monday, October 3rd
6:30 p.m.

And it came with this reminder… Five of the seven NMUSD board members have been on the board for [a total of] 96 years.

96 years. And we wonder why we have to mail in our applications…

Steve Smith