A recent local cartoon made the point; why the ongoing discussion about stadium lights at Malibu High School rather than a focus on AP classes and college applications? This question presupposes that our community cannot abide by its prior promises, respect the rural environment in which we all live and have our students pursue academic excellence.
Rather than asking why the focus on the lights, the community at large should be asking why Palos Verdes Peninsula High, a school that rejected the installation of stadium lights at its campus, ranked 23 in the state rather than Malibu’s 52. Somehow the folks in Palos Verdes, who care as much about their kids as our parents, figured out that athletic lights were, in the scheme of things, not critical to providing their students a world-class education.
And why are there so many other schools that all have great athletic programs, great academic records and do not have permanent athletic lights? There is a serious question of priorities, but not by those of us in the community who have suggested that the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and Shark Fund work with the community, abide by their prior compromise and focus their priorities on insuring that Malibu High School college-bound students are actually college ready. There is clearly a way and a need for the school to balance its athletic program with other enriching programs. Palos Verdes Peninsula High betters Malibu High by 12.5 points on its college readiness score. Now that’s the real scoreboard!

Cynthia Kesselman
Malibu, Calif.

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