Yesterday’s post on the well-intentioned but poorly executed Estancia Zone information night got an immediate response that deserves attention. The comment addressed Trustee’s Vicki Snell’s bogus excuse that  parents  in Mesa Verde don’t send their kids to Adams El because the district is busing in kids from Costa Mesa’s Westside:

“I agree with you regarding the reason we didn’t send our kids to Adams Elementary. Especially considering my daughters are both of Mexican heritage.

I don’t understand why they don’t transform it, as they did Maude Davis Elementary. I applaud that transformation and note they have a 500 student waiting list for that school. Prior to the transformation, there was no line to get into Davis. There is no reason to believe something similar would not boost the attractiveness of Adams Elementary.”

Snell’s excuse is a smokescreen for a school board and an administration that has failed to improve academic performance to the point where it becomes attractive to Mesa Verde parents.

The board has failed to hold the superintendent and his well-paid cabinet responsible, choosing instead to award him salary increases and bonuses while this mess continues with no long-term strategic plan whatsoever.

Snell ought to stop blaming parents who want a good education for their kids and start holding herself and her colleagues (the two new trustees excepted) responsible for their failure to crack the academic performance code.

Don’t hold your breath. If Snell did not apologize for her part in the Estancia pool draining, which wrecked the aquatics program, the Estancia stink, which put one teacher out of commission, and the Estancia poles, which cost taxpayers a bundle, there is zero chance she will own any of the academic performance situations at any of the schools in her zone. It’s just not in her DNA.

These sites have the facilities, the teachers, and the leadership, as evidenced by the presentation of the principals on Tuesday night. What is needed is the aforementioned strategic plan.

Don’t hold your breath for a plan, either. It’s not that the administration doesn’t want to create a plan, they just don’t know how. And for that, they’ll get more compensation.

No agenda? No problem!

Today is Thursday, Feb. 7. That means there are four working days before the next school board meeting on Feb. 12. As of this morning at 9:30 a.m., the meeting agenda has not been posted.

So here’s today’s question: Do you believe that the administration has an idea whatsoever as to what will be on the meeting agenda in just four days?

If your answer is no: That does not say much for the organizational abilities of the current administration. In fact, it’s a huge red flag.

If your answer is yes, then there is another question for you: If they have some idea of at least a few things that will be on the agenda, why aren’t those items posted now so that anyone who is thinking of attending can see whether it is worthwhile?

I’m giving the highly-paid bureaucrats the benefit of the doubt and I’m in the “yes” camp. I’d bet that they are not so disorganized that they don’t know of at least some of the agenda items.

So why aren’t they posted as a preliminary agenda? Because they don’t care about informing the public of much of their business, that’s why. I have been writing about this issue for years – offering proof of the chasm between what they say about public input and what they do.

Don’t worry, the agenda will be posted: On Friday afternoon with minutes to spare before the legal deadline.

Business as usual on Bear St.

Steve Smith