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COSTA MESA NEWPORT BEACH : District to Release School Audit Results

Orange County Focus

March 22, 1994|BOB ELSTON

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District will disclose the results of its first curriculum audit at the Board of Education meeting tonight.

The districtwide evaluation was done in December by a team of auditors who analyzed how well the district educates its students. At the board meeting tonight, a representative from the auditing agency will make a detailed presentation of the results of the study.

"We are a good school district, and we want to continue to get better," Supt. Mac Bernd said. "The only way to do that is to find out exactly what we need to do" to improve.

A team of auditors from the National Curriculum Audit Center of the American Assn. of School Administrators spent a week in district classrooms, pored over thousands of policy documents, test scores and salary schedules, and interviewed teachers and administrators.

Throughout the process, school officials had said they anticipated that the audit would expose the district's weaknesses and make suggestions for improvement.

Sue Greene, the lead auditor on this project, said in a statement Monday that there are "no limitations to Newport-Mesa success that . . . could not be overcome with time, strategic planning, leadership, modifications of policies and practices, professional teamwork and community support."

The audit will, for example, compare the math curriculum at every elementary, middle and high school in the district. It also will examine the district organizational structure and use of resources.

"It takes a lot of courage for school districts to do these," Bernd said.

The $32,500 audit is being paid from interest earned on the $4-million endowment fund set up by the Irvine Co. to improve school curricula. The special meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Harper Community Center, 425 E. 18th St., in Costa Mesa. One hundred copies of the audit report will be available for the public.

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