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Educationally speaking

GAY GEISER-SANDOVAL --

August 01, 2000

GAY GEISER-SANDOVAL

Rumors abound about Dennis Rodman running for the Newport Beach City

Council. I hope they aren't true.

I hope he runs instead for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District

Board of Education.

This year, there are three school board seats up for election. So far,

the only announced candidates are the incumbents.

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Not too many years ago, there were nine people who ran for the school

board. That gave the voting public a choice. Forums were held all over

Newport-Mesa, where voters could directly question the candidates. We

learned something about the candidates' views. It also got voters

thinking about education and what they wanted schools and teaching to

look like in the future.

I'm not saying that Rodman would make a better school board member

than the incumbents, because I don't know whether he has any

qualifications. I don't know what his goals are for our local schools.

But it would provide him with a salary, health benefits and a

retirement plan. It would give his neighbors a break from the parties for

two nights a month, when the board meets. It might also liven up the

meetings and make more people keep an eye on the decision makers for our

schools.

Even if you aren't Rodman, I hope you will seriously consider running

for a school board spot.

Meanwhile, maybe Rodman could give us some insight on how to solve

teen drinking and driving in our neck of the woods.

The ink is barely dry on reports that a local football star was

drinking at a party with his schoolmates before he ran his car off the

road this year.

Is this the toll we are willing to accept to keep our kids happy? Has

this form of entertainment become so ingrained that parents are willing

to supply their kids with alcohol, or party along with them?

*

Parents of Newport-Mesa teenagers wonder why there aren't more summer

school class options for teens. Currently, summer school is mainly for

kids to repeat classes they didn't pass.

During the school year, high schools offer only six time periods a day

for classes. That means very few teens on the path for college can take

any subjects other than English, math, science, foreign language and

social studies. Their sixth period is sports.

These students need to be given one of two options: take at least one

of those standard classes in summer school or take electives in summer

school. Wouldn't it be great to offer music, art, art history, drama,

journalism, creative writing, photography, Web page design or science

fiction as a summer diversion for a teen?

The perfect place for such a program would be the Orange Coast Middle

College High School. This would give high school kids a chance to

experience a college campus when it has classrooms to spare.

*

* GAY GEISER-SANDOVAL is a Costa Mesa resident. Her column runs

Tuesdays. She may be reached by e-mail at o7 GGSesq@aol.comf7 .

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