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Commentary: Newport-Mesa Uncensored aims to restore the basics of education

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District office in Costa Mesa.
(File Photo)

Who is Newport-Mesa Uncensored?

Some Newport-Mesa Unified School District employees believe this “small, scary and dangerous” group of “extremists” is seeking to “take over our school district.”

On the contrary, Newport-Mesa Uncensored, with more than 438% social media growth since late June, is the voice of many parents, grandparents and other Newport and Costa Mesa community members.

Newport-Mesa Uncensored aims to protect our children from ideological issues that pose a threat to their psychological, physical and academic success and overall well-being, as well as the fundamental rights of parents.

The mission of Newport-Mesa Uncensored is to restore parental rights to primary-secondary education through community engagement, valuable resources and information that empower individuals to advocate with meaningful action on behalf of students within the NMUSD. We stand firmly against the stronghold ideologies that have contributed to the detrimental outcomes adopted by our current district leaders who seek to advance this cause.

NMUSD is a community-funded district which means 75% of revenues come from local property taxes, according to the district’s 2022-23 budget. The average cost per student is a generous $23,367, higher than the state average. Local comparison districts spend several thousands less, yet most perform stronger in academic outcomes than within NMUSD. One must ask, if the NMUSD is spending this much money per student, why are both English Language Arts and math scores declining, when districts spending substantially less are improving?

To show the alarming comparison, based on most recently published state data, only 62.26% of all students met or exceeded ELA standards in the NMUSD. In math, less than half of our students (46.11%) met or exceeded standards. Statistics show a steady decline across content areas from 2019, which is not true of the majority of local comparison districts negating the blame of COVID-19 “learning loss” as a standard. Again, if many of our children are not able to read, write or do math at grade level, why are we passing them along, outspending many districts, and allowing them to get lost in the system?

Thus, it is imperative to shift the focus of our local schools away from spending millions on state-backed ideological programs and return to the basics our American educational system were founded upon. As originally intended, the purpose of education was to instill good character, convey an understanding of America’s underpinnings and provide training in the practical competencies such as reading, writing and arithmetic. Over the years, we can see this idea has fallen to the wayside.

Newport-Mesa Uncensored acknowledges and appreciates the district employees that effect educational advancements for our students with excellence and integrity. All community members have a duty to ensure the best educational outcomes for our future. In unity, we aim to restore the foundations to a system of excellence and to restore the rights of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children. Together we must work to engage the whole community in meaningful ways in order to secure the successful future of our children and families.

The best way to become informed and have your voice heard is to join us at the school board meetings, where anyone can make public comments. We also urge families to read the board agendas, read all materials your child brings home and maintain consistent communication with your child(ren)’s teachers and school leaders. We also invite you to join our Instagram followers at @NewportMesaUncensored to keep up with the latest issues in the district. Email NMUncensored@gmail.com.

Alicia Beget is a licensed educational psychologist and board certified behavior analyst. Haley Jenkins has a background in behavioral therapy and working with children with developmental disorders.

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