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Press Release


Newport-Mesa Community for Students

Newport-Mesa Community for Students Files Complaint

Activist Group Cites Lack of Required Instructional Materials for Students

Costa Mesa, CA, October 24, 2017: A formal multi-faceted Williams Complaint was given to NMUSD trustees tonight by an activist group charging the District’s lack of student textbooks or instructional materials required by law for each student.

The problem is ongoing,” “continues at multiple school sites” and “multiple grade levels” according to the activist group of parents, former and current teachers and residents, which provided a copy of the Williams Complaint to the Daily Pilot.

California Education Code 35186 allows citizens to file a Williams Complaint concerning deficiencies related to instructional materials, poor condition of facilities, and teacher vacancy or mis-assignment. Complaints may be filed anonymously.

A parent representing Newport-Mesa Community for Students presented the complaint to trustees during the School Board’s annual public hearing to certify the District is in compliance with the State Education Code.

Newport-Mesa Community for Students recommended trustees vote “No” on the matter until the District investigates and responds to the Williams Complaint.

The group also asks the District to survey teachers anonymously and gather valid data from teachers regarding other instructional material deficiencies.

According to the Williams Complaint, “Several students at elementary schools grades K-6, including all Title I schools in Costa Mesa, do not have sufficient numbers of student textbooks. The insufficient supplies of textbooks titles are “Wonders” English Language Arts and “Bridges” Math curriculum textbook.”

In addition, the complaint states there is a problem with the continued use of temporary science lab stations at Costa Mesa High School which deprives students of access to lab equipment. “Temporary lab stations do not have electrical hookups or sink access as is provided to students with permanent lab stations. The use of temporary lab stations is an ongoing deficiency over several years.”

The Complaint also charged that the Superintendent and Board used Swun math knowing it was defective, non-Common Core compliant and under-developed, instead of State-adopted math curriculum which was readily available.

“The District knew or should have known, based on the complaints about Swun Math from parents and teachers, that it was a deficient math curriculum. The District Superintendent ignored and disregarded complaints from teachers and parents.”

“Countless numbers of students have been denied sufficient math curriculum for many years (2012-13) while the Board required teachers to use Swun math.”

“The harm caused to these students who were deprived of compliant curriculum should be remedied by the District through a bank of District paid tutoring/support. The Superintendent and Board should be held accountable.”

“Although Swun math has been eliminated at Elementary schools for all grade levels except for the 6th grade throughout the District, the continued use of Swun math for the 6th grade for 2017-18 deprives impacted students of compliant math curriculum,” the complaint stated.

“Teachers were asked to correct errors in materials of this half-ready product while the District paid millions for this experimental math curriculum. Despite many complaints by teachers and community members, the Superintendent and Board impacted thousands of elementary students over a five-year period in K-6 throughout the District by using Swun math. The curriculum continues to impact 6th grade students for 2017-18 where it is still in use.”

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