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Charter School Under Cheating Probe Aims to Open in Carlsbad

Charter school Oxford Preparatory Academy with campuses in Chino and south Orange County hopes to open a Carlsbad branch in the fall of 2013 and is applying for charter school status in the Carlsbad Unified School District.

Update: The Carlsbad school board unanimously voted to deny the charter petition submitted by Oxford Preparatory Academy at the Dec. 5 meeting.

Last week, parents were sent a letter on Oxford Preparatory Academy letterhead from fundraising parents saying: “In the fall of 2013, it is our goal to open a kindergarten through eighth grade public charter school, Oxford Preparatory Academy Carlsbad.”

But in Orange County, Oxford Prep is under investigation in a cheating scandal connected to staff.

San Juan Capistrano Patch has been covering the story.

Related: Charter School Cheating Probe Sparks Clash with CUSD

On Oct. 10,  Patch editor Penny Arévalo wrote that OPA’s “effort to investigate allegations that its staff cheated during standardized testing in spring is under fire from the Capistrano Unified School District, which has launched its own probe and questioned the objectivity of the school’s investigation.”

OPA is hosting a parent information meeting in Carlsbad on Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Carlsbad Senior Center for those who want to learn more about the proposed K-8 charter program.

The school aims to serve students from Vista, San Marcos, Oceanside, La Costa, Encinitas and Del Mar “as well as surrounding areas,” the letter to parents said.

In a phone interview, Carlsbad school board President Kelli Moors said Oxford is applying to open in the district and the board will accept the proposal at Wednesday night’s meeting.

According to the school board agenda (attached): “The governing board shall hold a public hearing on the provisions of the Oxford Preparatory Academy charter school petition, at which time the governing board of the school district shall consider the level of support for the petition by teachers employed by the district, other employees of the district, and parents.”

Moors said the board then has 30 days to come up with a response.

OPA parent enthusiasts were being asked to bring interested parents to the 6 p.m. board meeting at the District Office wearing the school’s teal color in support.

Erika Schulte December 06, 2012 at 07:07 AM
Oh, and let's be clear. A brand new school does not achieve a 993 API score with teachers who are anything less than the gold standard and beyond. To suggest that Oxford teachers are somehow inferior is hilariously preposterous. Quite the opposite - in fact, some are award-winning teachers who were subsequently spit out of the current traditional public school system simply because of the one factor out of their control - their seniority number. It's time we support a system where teachers are elevated, celebrated, and rewarded based on their abilities and accomplishments, not simply their tenacity when it comes to just "hanging in there."
Erica Cox December 06, 2012 at 03:44 PM
What a shame for your kiddos. My 3 kids (including one with an IEP) all attend OPA-SOC and we have felt so blessed to be part of the school and the amazing community it creates. My two older kids both experienced 200+ jumps in their STAR testing and we no longer have fights or tears with homework. they "get it", they understand what they are learning and their comprehension has just grown by leaps and bounds. What was their reasoning behind the denial? Two schools already are open, doing beyond what anyone else is doing, with dedicated and experienced staff and teachers. What more did they want? Was it from the completely bogus anonymous "cheating" investigation? Our district concluded their investigation and confirmed it was absolutely unfounded. Any person (ie, person against charters/school choice) can make up these lies to discredit the school. It is so disgusting. it's a shame that Carlsbad Unified decided against a choice that would have been so beneficial to so many kids.
Julie Collier December 06, 2012 at 05:59 PM
It is unfortunate that the Carlsbad School District voted for status quo in public education. Parents, students in the state of California (regardless of zip code) are not getting the high quality eduction you think they are getting. If you continue to support status quo education policies, it is our children that will pay the price. You won't realize this until you help your child apply to college and they have to compete with the rest of the country. Charter schools are public schools. They offer a choice. Choice in public education not only provides an alternative to students that need it, but competition in neighboring public schools. The Carlsbad Trustees clearly did not take time to consider ALL children in their district. Instead they voted to the status quo agenda of public education. Parents of Carlsbad, I hope this is a wake up call to all of you. Your CHILDREN should be a priority not the political status quo that lead your trustees to vote against Oxford Prep.
R Miller December 06, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I'm so sad this amazing school will not be a choice for tax paying families in Carlsbad and the surrounding community. It is an amazing school with a proven track record of success. There is an on line article in the OC Register reporting that the local school district concluded their investigation and the cheating allegations were unfounded. OPA in Orange County scored an almost perfect score of 993.
Dano Arroz January 27, 2013 at 06:11 PM
We will continue to fight for as many options as possible when it comes to our children's educations. This is not over by a long shot!

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