Filing error delays appeal hearing for charter school

CARLSBAD — Because staff misfiled its original charter appeal, OPA (Oxford Preparatory Academy) is restarting the process to appeal the Carlsbad Unified School District’s rejection of its petition to open a charter school in Carlsbad before the San Diego County Board of Education. 

“What we see in this petition, the appeal (to the county) did not contain the same information that was submitted to Carlsbad,” said Board of Education Chief Communications and Public Information Officer Music Watson.

OPA is required by California Education Code to submit the exact same charter petition to the board as was originally submitted to the Carlsbad School District in order for an appeal to be considered, said Watson.

OPA submitted additional API score and demographic data, while omitting other information that was initially in the petition, said Watson.

As a result, a public hearing that was scheduled for Feb. 13 before the board to receive OPA’s petition appeal was cancelled.

But OPA Executive Director Sue Roche claimed that only four pages of API score data from the charter’s appendix were missing from the board’s copies due to an accidental computer error while the charter was being copied.

“I don’t want it to be implied in any means that the entire charter was different. That is not true at all,” said Roche.

She said the page mix up was completely unintentional because the missing data further supports OPA’s position on a Carlsbad location.

“This material shows very clearly why we are needed and why we think we would be a great partner with Carlsbad,” said Roche, adding, “Absolutely we want that (material) to be seen.”

She said that OPA did add supplemental information about its schools and plans for Carlsbad in the appeal, separate from the charter petition copies, which is permitted in the charter appeal process.

OPA will be resubmitting its appeal to the board Feb. 19, which will allow for the public hearing to be rescheduled for March 13, according to Roche.

The CUSD denied OPA’s original petition on Dec. 5, stating that the petition did not meet half of the state Education Code’s requirements for charter schools.

OPA’s charter petition would establish a three-year charter school in Carlsbad for 800 to 1,000 students kindergarten through eighth grade starting in the fall for the 2013-14 school year.

The CUSD team that reviewed the charter petition stated that, contrary to OPA’s claims, the proposed charter school would have a disparate impact on underserved student populations. The team also brought up concerns about how OPA’s governing body would oversee a Carlsbad location.

OPA administrators have frequently claimed that the CUSD review team and board misrepresented its charter petition.

“I found it insulting,” said Roche about how CUSD representatives portrayed OPA’s petition at the Dec. 5 meeting. “I think that districts are afraid of what they do not know.”

She said that OPA is pursuing an appeal before the county because, “We (OPA staff and parents) want to have a chance to show some evidence instead why (the Board of Education) should be approving us.”



Filed Under: Rancho Santa Fe NewsThe Coast News


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  1. Pac ridge parent says:

    My child goes to Pacific Ridge, we pulled him out of AOM before he got completely lost in the shuffle. I must say it was almost too late. I would have loved to have had this opportunity for him 4 years ago, instead of spending so much money on schooling when it should be provided by the district. Thank God we found Pacific Ridge. He is engaged and has a sense of community. It is fostered by a positive outlook on education, and teachers who are rewarded for their skills; if they are complacent, they lose their jobs (just like in the real world)

    Just this week at my friends kids school, a teacher graded all of the kids with the same grade (not an A) in a certain subject “because they had not studied it yet” …Laughable and lazy. I actually heard this same story twice from other moms in the neighborhood.
    Carlsbad is a great city, and it should have a great school district. Hopefully, it will embrace this Oxford Charter and use it as an example of how to improve its current education system.

  2. Jaime Lecole says:

    Why didn’t OPA appeal the County for a spot in Oceanside where the support seems so much higher? Rent is cheaper there. Seems odd when they have the parental support and it’s such a short drive from Carlsbad.

    • rendeena says:

      Who knows why OPA did not appeal with County when they were denied in Oceanside. I am just glad that they are going further this time around in Carlsbad. Maybe this is the question to ask at the next parent information meeting.

  3. Don't you want a choice in life says:

    Pro school choice. Don’t you want to choose a doctor, insurance and whatever you do in day to day life?
    I do not think Oxford is taking anything away from anyone but yet adding to the community by giving us a choice. Choose to attend Oxford or not, it is your choice. But do not prevent someone who may want to attend Oxford.
    I am for Oxford and those who want to attend.

  4. Parent4Choice says:

    Carlsbad parents do deserve a choice in education. And yes, I do believe there is a great need. I have one child that is getting lost in the shuffle along with 1/4 of his class. While CUSD now offers after school tutoring for a fee, I do not feel this is the answer. Many parents can’t even afford it. Oxford has a free after school tutoring program called Excellence Academy that they heavily encourage any of their struggling students to attend. Students at Oxford are tested on their knowledge of the material, and if they haven’t grasped the concepts, they continue to learn it both in class and in Excellence Academy. I hope that the County recognizes this need and understands how Oxford can reach those students that have previously struggled in traditional schools.

  5. carlsbad-diva says:

    CUSD needs Oxford Preparatory. OPA will bring new opportunities for growth, a new experiences, new options, new educational choice for Carlsbad. Change and progression is never easy, but by not pushing forward in educational choices we are only limiting our own children and our own community’s future.

  6. I have an incoming kindergarten student and I’m looking for a school that will meet his needs. As I have been researching public and private schools, I have been extremely interested in Oxford Preparatory Academy’s program. I was excited to see that this charter school teaches in a variety of ways and offers foreign languages, computers, science lab, and music. This is the type of school I want! If the Carlsbad school board isn’t brave enough to approve Oxford, I hope the county board is wiser and gives this choice to us. Don’t our children deserve the best education?

  7. CarlbadMamaof3 says:

    As a small business owner, I truly believe that competition drives innovation. New ideas and approaches often serve to raise the bar and soon, entire industries are challenged to keep up, or get out of the way. What better place to “raise the bar” than our public education system? I am excited by the concepts and approaches Oxford Preparatory Academy’s program intends to bring to our students. Like many parents, I believe my children can benefit greatly from something different, something new and innovative, and by someone who celebrates their individual learning styles. Charter schools across the nation are working WITH their parent bases for the benefit of students and I am very hopeful the San Diego County Board of Education will use their wisdom and power to effect positive change for children by approving the Oxford Preparatory Academy charter.

  8. Parents for Choice says:

    We support the Charter school since may of the public schools are unable or unwilling to educate students. Why do schools show videos and have so many parties and field trips at the expense of teaching basic skills like handwriting? If they don’t want to do the hard stuff, they should not expect to have no competition.

  9. Carlsbad Parent says:

    Oxford Preparatory Academy is amazing. Your world opens up to a whole other level.Oxford Prep Academy would be a huge asset to Carlsbad. Not only for the students it would serve but for the community. I encourage you to do your own research and tour one of the existing amazing schools. GO OXFORD PREPARATORY ACADEMY CHARTER!!!!!!!! GIVE US A CHOICE!!!!!!!!!

  10. willardfamily says:

    Oxford is such a great school to have in our community. Our family is so excited to know that we will have another choice in public education that is not part of CUSD schools. Carlsbad is rooting for you Oxford, please don’t let us down.

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