QUESTION: Why should it be necessary for the D.C. school board -- which has other things to do -- to waste time in arguing about and (thank God) voting down a request from Frank Shaffer-Corona for money to travel to Iran to meet with students holding Americans hostage?

Mr. Shaffer-Corona has an answer. First, he says that he withdrew the request before the vote. But he adds: "Don't you think that money would be a good investment for the people of Washington, D.C., to make so they can find out when the hostages are going to get out? . . . The fascist fiends at the White House and at the State Department got us into this mess and only honest people can get us out. That is why I've been in this from day one. It is time for we-the-people to put some sanity back into the United States. . . ."

QUESTION: But Mr. Shaffer-Corona, why are you, as a school board member, involved in what is going on in Iran instead of what's going on in the District's schools? Mr. Shaffer-Corona has another answer: "Everything I do is educational. It has to do with education."

Mr. Shaffer-Corona may be right: his behavior has certaintly taught the city a lesson -- about electing people you don't know much about. It's not just that he is a loose cannon trying his best to interfere in areas he knows nothing about. It is also the fact that he has neglected his duties to the voters of the District who elected him to help improve their public schools. Mr. Shaffer-Corona has not been involved with one important policy change or improvement in the school system since he was elected to the board. Instead, he has used his position to pass himself off as the "only elected Hispanic official on the East Coast."

Not Mr. Shaffer-Corona says he is traveling to Beirut, Lebanon, to meet with Palestinian officials, as a member of a group of Chicano officials. Then he says he plans to make a private journey to Iran to meet with the students holding the hostages. He says he will be gone from his school board duties for three weeks. If it were not that he is mucking around in a very sensitive international matter, we would, of course, be glad to see him leaving the school board, never mind for how brief a spell. If ever a city with a new law allowing for recall of public officials was povided with a tempting target, Mr. Shaffer-Corona is surely it.