The Coast News Group
Dr. Eric Beam (at podium), OPA’s Director of Special Services, argues in favor of an OPA charter school, which was denied by the Carlsbad school district. The Charter has since made an appeal to the county. Photo by Rachel Stine

Charter school makes appeal to county board

CARLSBAD — Claiming that its petition was not given fair consideration, OPA (Oxford Preparatory Academy) is appealing to the San Diego County Board of Education over the Carlsbad Unified School District’s denial of their petition to run a charter school. 

OPA, which runs charter schools in Chino Valley and Orange County, will present its petition and appeal before the board at a public hearing Feb. 13 in hopes of opening a charter school in Carlsbad for the 2013-14 school year.

“Despite what the district says, we (OPA) still have a very strong parental demand in Carlsbad,” said Dr. Eric Beam, OPA’s director of Special Services and primary spokesperson for the Carlsbad petition. “We know that we have a very sound charter petition in education that would benefit the community.”

Citing doubts about OPA’s ability to meet half of state Education Code requirements for charter schools, the district’s Board of Trustees denied their charter petition last December..

“We were very concerned about OPA’s ability to deliver on the instructional program and the fiduciary responsibilities that are required under the law,” said CUSD Superintendent Dr. Suzette Lovely.

OPA’s proposed charter would establish a three-year charter school starting with the 2013-14 school year. The school would operate kindergarten through eighth grades for 800 to 1,000 students.

OPA has requested to operate a facility near the Interstate 5 and state Route 78, and therefore would most likely reside on Buena Vista Elementary School’s campus.

A team of district administration reviewed OPA’s charter petition, and determined that it met eight of the 16 elements required for a charter school by the state Education Code.

Among its primary concerns, the CUSD review team concluded that the charter petition would have a disparate impact on minority students, lower socioeconomic students, students with disabilities, and English Learner students.

The district team also found that the petition did not adequately describe how OPA would achieve a racial and ethnic balance in its student enrollment reflective of the CUSD population.

Additionally, the team stated that the petition did not adequately explain how OPA’s governing body, based in Chino Valley, would effectively oversee a school over 80 miles away in Carlsbad or how it would cover the start-up costs of opening a charter in Carlsbad.

The team’s findings were presented to the board during a public action meeting on Dec. 5, 2012. After taking directive from the CUSD review team, the board heard final public comments and made its decision on the charter petition.

Dozens of parents and teachers spoke out in favor and against the charter school at the meeting. Some argued that CUSD students deserved a choice of schools, while other speakers stated that CUSD offers excellent schools and claimed that OPA selectively chooses its students.

OPA representatives were not allowed to present on their proposed charter or answer questions raised by the board during the meeting. After over an hour-long presentation by the district’s review team, OPA administrators were granted five minutes each to speak only during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Beam said that he and other OPA staff believe that the CUSD was determined to deny its charter petition from the start and did not portray the petition fairly.

“(The district’s) request for a response for several questions (about the petition) pretty much told us the reasons why they were planning on denying this in advance,” said Beam about the petition’s initial review by the CUSD. “There was no meaningful program or meaningful dialogue about our program beyond what was on the (petition) paper.”

He said that contrary to the CUSD review team’s findings, OPA would specialize in meeting the needs of underrepresented students, including special needs students and English Learner students.

He also said that OPA had a great deal of interest from teachers wishing to apply for positions at a charter location in Carlsbad.

Lovely maintained that OPA’s charter petition was reviewed fairly without bias.

“We (CUSD administration) went through (OPA’s petition) very methodically, and we spent an inordinate amount of time to make sure we looked at everything objectively,” said Lovely.

She said that because the district evaluates charter petitions with state standards, there is no possibility of prejudice in the review. “The district really has no option but to follow the Ed Code,” she said.

Lovely also said that OPA was granted a fair opportunity to present their proposed charter during the review process.

Two members of the district review team met with Beam and another OPA representative to address matters within the petition before reaching a conclusion, according to Lovely.

The review team stated that it spent over 200 hours assessing the petition.

Furthermore, the district board’s governance policies do not allow them to hear presentations directly from petitioners during internal review processes or public meetings, she said.

Hoping to have the district’s decision appealed, OPA has submitted its original petition and supplemental materials to the county.

“We also hope to clarify some misinformation that the district used in their denial,” said Beam.

Both CUSD and OPA representatives will give presentations on the charter petition before the county at the 6 p.m. public meeting Feb. 13.

The county will then make a decision on OPA’s appeal at its next meeting in March, according to Lora Duzyk, SDCBOE’s assistant superintendent of business services.

Over the past 11 years, the county board has heard five charter petition appeals, according to Duzyk.

Literary First’s charter in El Cajon was approved, while three petitions were denied and the last was withdrawn.

If OPA’s appeal is approved, the charter will operate under the countyinstead of the district.

If the appeal is denied, OPA has the option of appealing to the state.

“We have faith that the county or if necessary the state will judge the petition fairly,” said Beam.

“I would hope that (the SDCBOE) would honor the findings of the (CUSD) staff and uphold the board’s decision on the charter.

“We’re confident that our findings are accurate,” said Lovely.


cassie February 12, 2013 at 10:08 am

What happened to making sure our kids are having the very best options for their education? Is it only good if if comes from CUSD schools? What is the big deal? This school would be a great addition to our district. CUSD sees our kids as dollar signs, and if our kids leave to go to OPA Carlsbad, they see it as them loosing money and the kids getting a better option. This is sad but true.

YetAnotherCarlsbadParent February 11, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I am watching this story with interest. As a parent with an elementary aged child, I want the best education possible for him. I recently made the choice to move him to a private school in Encinitas. If this program were available in Carlsbad, I would consider trying for a spot. This program has been under very close scrutiny lately – and they have been rising above. It is also impressing both the State Board of Education (based on the OPA website) and those posting on Great Schools (based on my own research on that site). I noticed Chino just re-upped the charter for five years…so they must be doing something right.

Another Carlsbad Parent February 10, 2013 at 7:58 pm

@carlsbad parent, in regards to your claim that API scores are all related to socioeconomic status, I would like you to take a look at where the Oxford in Chino Valley is located. They scored a 972 API. While API scores are often related to socioeconomic status, OPA proves that it need not be!

Anti-OPA supporters make the claim that OPA will cost CUSD $450,000/yr to educate out of district students. I have yet to see the research and numbers to back this up. I refuse to take someone’s word for it.

IGAVEUP February 10, 2013 at 5:54 pm

You are right it would take hours but I have taken hours to learn about the money etc. So can you answer any of those questions to help support your side of the argument? Beside just saying “it will take money away” and just cause is the answer. I had to jump in since you said read above about finances, I read that it won’t hurt the district or have the impact you believe it will. I was trying to find your proof I just don’t see it. Unless when my child takes their money with them that hurts the district. How is that it is my child money, my tax dollars the district now does not have to deal with that student anymore. How the district wastes the money that they have from the students who remain is on the district. I moved my kids to a private school so kids are leaving whether they go to Oxford or not.

Who told you they weren’t going to hear the appeal? Oxford has the best lawyer Greg Moser handling this case, who has a great record when it comes to taking on this type of case, you can search that on the internet. Plus the California Charter Association backing them these are not first timers going before the County. I know everyone who is anti Oxford wants to believe that they don’t know what they are doing but they do and have a huge support team to back them up.

These are history making events we are witnessing changing education for the better and change is happening, thank goodness! But we all will benefit so for the anti Oxford people, we are fighting for your kids too they deserve the best. Even if they don’t go to Oxford the district will feel the need to compete and provide better for your kids and if you like what you are getting now just wait and see it only gets better! The district doesn’t have to compete right now for students since our only option is private school and most people don’t want to pay more or can afford private, we are doing it this year but next year OPA!

Robbie February 10, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Why???? Why??

FACTONOPA February 10, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Hearing is canceled moot point!

What does that mean? Why are you assuming that works in your favor if you don’t want the school??

Also if you were very versed on finances then explain how Oxford runs with less money and has a more effective program and more success in education all children then CUSD? Look at the stats not what the district told you.

Also how is it that if a Carlsbad student takes their money with them to Oxford goes to a campus in Carlsbad how that takes money from the general fund? Can you give us facts instead of telling us that you know something is it a secret? If you know finances lets talk numbers those who oppose OPA can use someone who can explain the finances so they can clearly see that Carlsbad will only loose the actual students which since our classrooms are busting at the seems anyways you all should thank Oxford for taking a few students out of the classroom. The money follows the students!

Once the truth gets out and everyone who is contributing to spreading the lies about Oxford, I hope you can forgive yourself when you learn the truth. Also forgive yourself for being taken advantage of, I am sad to see how people are upset over things that are untrue. I am sorry it has gotten to this. But I am not sorry for supporting Oxford and having a choice in this district that will someday be here. Sometimes the greatest things you have to fight the hardest for, this is worth fighting for!

carlsbad parent February 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm

It works in OUR favor because they are not hearing the appeal.

“More effective” is your opinion.

Read comment above about finances.

The students that leave will not reduce class size.

I am not going by district facts only. I have spent a few hours looking through several websites and history on charter programs.

There is a lot I could say…It would take hours…

Robbie February 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm

I am sure that those websites you researched are very objective when discussing charter schools right. Since you did your research, your findings researched that Oxford is #1 in both counties they are in. You are right it is in my opinion that OPA is “more effective”. That is why I am working so hard for this. It might not be a right fit for you and your family, that’s ok. I find OPA a right fit for my children and so do a large number of parents in Carlsbad.

me-gwen February 10, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Please share which school in CUSD provide or is:

-Foreign languages K-8
-Music K-8
-Science lab K-8
-99% attendance
-# 1 in the county
-Multiple Intelligence implemented on a daily basis to education to state standards, NOT to test to state standards.
-with API 993 and 10/10 in similar school ranking.

How does it take funds from the general fund? If you are not impressed when touring the school, doubt that this claim is true, then don’t enroll your kids, no hard feelings. Stay at your school.

carlsbad parent February 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm

I did not say not impressed (“not MORE impressive”).

Money will be taken out based on the number of students leaving CUSD. As a basic aid district, it is even more complicated. Bascically, all students’ dollars will be reduced because some will be going to support ANOTHER school. So, my child will lose out to benefit yours.
Have we discussed that students from other districts can take spots? My tax dollars should pay for them?

API, test results, etc. are all related to socioeconomic status of families.

Jefferson has K-5 all of the above. Then it continues at Valley. ONE EXAMPLE. Another, at Aviara Oaks Middle you can take Drama, Band or Orchestra, Dance PE, Photography, Art, Broadcasting, Spanish, be on Science Olympiad team, be on basketball or surf team, and with an API of 922, which is not easy to achieve for a middle school.

Please sign petition to NOT have this school impede on our community.

FACTONOPA February 10, 2013 at 5:14 pm

OK so how many out of district students are you talking?
How much does each in district student get?
Then what does the state require that of that amount for an in district goes onto Oxford, how much does the district pocket on each in district student?
How much for each out of district student will the district loose?
Then if a very small percent of out of district students can go to Oxford and the district pockets the money for each in district student then how do we loose money?
The district also has the say on how many out of district students can come in and again it is a very very small percent, but when the time comes take that up with them.
So how will if my child leaves their traditional school doesn’t get to take with them the amount they would get if they stayed at their current school, so that money stays in the district for your child then how does that effect your children and take anything away from them?

Oh also Oxfords middle schoolers at South Orange County campus children got 1000 API score so that is not easy to do! Plus they have all the activities too!

Bottom line here is that as a Carlsbad parent who has taken the time learned the facts and can speak and ask the questions I just asked is sad. I did not want to have to learn all this stuff, I just want the best education for my kids that my tax dollars can buy. For anyone of us parents who are fighting tooth and nail to get this school here we have seen the facts done the research and asked those questions that need to be asked. I did not want to see the truth since it would mean I would have to fight to get this for our children. I see the truth now and I am fighting armed with facts and knowledge. When you look to sign that petition read what they are saying not one is true and were are they getting their information and they can’t tell you. WHy is the state saying that on their scale Oxford is a perfect school, yes perfect, why is the state giving Oxford money to put a school here?? The state loves Oxford but the district wants you to believe that it does not live up to the state standards or ed code so they had no choice but to deny Oxford. Now if you can stop and think for one minute does that makes sense to you? Plus the district did not call ALL of those who signed the form, they got ahold of very few and made them believe that they were going to take their children out of their school if they said yes to a school that isn’t even approved or open, of course you are going to say no, so stop and think!!! DOes any of that make sense to you once you stopped and thought about it? I have spent way too much time away from my family, crying after board meetings because I can’t believe what they just did and adults who are supposed to be respected in our community can flat out lie and it involves our children. I have lost my faith in the political system and as we all fight against each other I am loosing faith that people take the time to think for themselves which makes this world a hell of a lot scarier place to live.

Wheww! Have a good night!

me-gwen February 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm

So what you are saying that because you found Oxford not to be “more impressive” than CUSD, the option of OPA should not be allowed for those tax payers who do want it here? Yes, that’s makes sense. You still have not given me a carlsbad school with all those things that OPA offers. Not one school. So if I want to have those options I have to enroll my child to attend all those schools all at once? Your argument is flawed. How does the district loose money? If my child leaves district schools to attend Oxford, the money (my tax $$) follows my child to OPA. And, OPA actually gets less money (my tax $$) and the remainder stays with CUSD to do with what they pleased. I can guarantee you it’s not going to apply the extra funds to district schools. So essentially, OPA can operate on less $$$ and offers more to students and parents. It’s not your money, what about my tax money going to paying for a declining education within CUSD? Why is it bad for me to have my child learn a foreign language and to have an option of learning music theory, be on the spirit squad, or drama, debating, have science lab all at ONE CAMPUS?

By the way, the petition (what a joke) that is out there, isn’t that the same group, the I Heart Carlsbad schools, that pushed with all their might to close down Buena Vista last year??? The same group that called the 5 ladies on CUSD board “idiots” or “brainless” for allowing BV to stay open to financially drain CUSD? Yes, this group is credible.

carlsbad parent February 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm

The hearing is canceled. Moot point!

CUSD is not declining. Enrollment growth is projected for next year.

Went on an OPA tour. Not more impressive than CUSD. Similar to schools here.

I am a teacher in another district. I am well versed with school finance and education theory.

The schools here are great!

Not denying OPA does good work. Unfortunately, this school would take money from the general fund.

Another Carlsbad Parent February 10, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Let’s take a look at the declining enrollment of Carlsbad schools. Parents are pulling their children from the public schools and leaving the district or opting for private schools or other home school options. I also am a teacher with a master degree in education and am appalled at the curriculum and instruction I see in the public schools. When the districts claim the eight multiple intelligences are being utilized in these classrooms, they are sorely mistaken. I am in the classrooms every week and rarely see this done besides the occasional visual and hands on project. Students at OPA are tested twice a year for their learning styles and instruction in the classroom is then tailored according to the results. There is absolutely no comparison between the instructional methods at OPA versus the Carlsbad schools. If you don’t believe it, go take a tour.

FACTONOPA February 10, 2013 at 10:27 am

I just saw the word that is being spread around our community about Oxford. Please please before you believe anything that any group is say that is against OPA do your research. They are just repeating what the board said. The district was very misleading and purposely so telling parents they enrolled their child. It was not an enrollment form so how can they ask you if you plan to enroll your child in a school that is not open yet? It was an I am interest form, if you can read you can read it is clearly on the form. I signed mine after I realize all the tricks the district pulled. Plus there were people who clearly said yes and funny when their schools results came out it was 0. So CUSD lied, plus they did not even talk to a small percent who signed the form, they only got a hold of a few families, twisted their words, and or did not count their yes. Then the money that they say will go to out of district students, FALSE. Then the diversity, where is the diversity at Pac RIm, Kelly? Just to name a few. So they completely lied about he diversity at Oxford and OXford has the information to prove it, but did they let Oxford do that? No that would have shown they are diverse and CUSD is wrong. Plus how did the state say that Oxford has a sound education and financially is sound gives them a perfect audit, plus a grant for Carlsbad and Carlsbad tries to say they only satisfy half of the requirements? Please look at the facts California says this school is perfect and Carlsbad tries to tell you they are not. Plus once I also looked into this the lawyer from Carlsbad, he dusted off his old Oceanside paperwork presented the case to our board, same ol’ same ol’ lies and our district probably paid him for that. So if you are upset with anyone please look at our district, and if you choose to believe what the group who is suppose to be standing by our side as parents are telling you why we should not have OPA they are misinformed and it breaks my heart the damage they are doing since they re so wrong about what they are saying.

MarnieMe February 9, 2013 at 11:16 pm

What is the big deal with this school coming to town? Why do you care, why do you oppose it? From what I have seen, the hostility is ridiculous. All the opposition groups signing petitions, don’t you have anything better to do? This is a win/win for Carlsbad. Work with this school to operate in Carlsbad. If CUSD is right, there will not be anyone enrolling their kids and they will and leave town. If they do open and are successful in educating students, then they will be a great addition CUSD. Why is there so much time, money and energy wasting on opposing to something that is a success?

disappointedteacher February 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm

I am a teacher with a masters degree who lives in Carlsbad. My child goes to an incredible private school in the area. We pulled him from public school because I was appalled at the curriculum. Worksheets! C UNIFIED & school board are not forward thinking. They teach from the bottom up instead of the top down. Our current school teaches a gate curruculum to all of the students, and that is the way it should be done. Consider all kids smart and capable, not dumb and needy.
Right before I pulled my kid, I found out that most of the people on the CUSD school board do not even have children in the schools here; That is when I realized the public schools were not going to change, and decded I needed to make a better choice for my family.
There is a solution, Carlsbad. Get a charter school in here like Oxford, and vote in representatives who have young children in the schools. If the schools improve, the property values go up, good companies come here to relocate, and tax monsy is abundant for improvements to existing structures.

For Carlsbad Unified to be so scared of this charter school is the most telling sign of all.

FreeChoiceParent February 9, 2013 at 10:20 am

Well, it seems to me if CUSD truely believed this was an inferior school, they sure didn’t want to give us the opportunity to fall on our faces and once and for all prove them right. It’s simple, they know it will cause the flood gates to open. I predict people will be fighting to get their kids into Oxford once it is open.

The admission process is and always has been a blind lottery. There is no consideration given otherwise.

Choice in Education February 9, 2013 at 8:24 am

Carlsbad needs Oxford Preparatory Academy Charter School! We should have this wonderful school as a CHOICE for our children! Anyone who disagrees should take a tour at the already existing Oxford campuses in Chino and South Orange County. If the CUSD school board was really working to do the best for our children and their education they would visit the campuses as well. After seeing the ACT that CUSD school board has put on, i cannot believe these adults are in charge of our education here in Carlsbad. I have been appalled at their tactics!! As parents, DO YOUR RESEARCH and do not rely on our school board to do your thinking for you. You will see that Oxford Preparatory Academy will be great asset to our community!

FreeChoiceParent February 8, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Let me address a previous poster…Oxford is needed in Carlsbad for a host of reasons. One of which being that Compton Unified elementary schools scored higher than three schools here in Carlsbad, I will not name. As to the petitions…I stood out in front of an elementary school on several occasions and was up front with people. I did not dupe people into signing, and I know others did not as well. I can tell you from first-hand experience, when I called some of those back who signed, I was told “Take me off that list, you got me in trouble with my kids’ principal” and “I was told by my kids’ principal she would give me any teacher I wanted next year if I took my name off that list.” Sound fair?

What we have going on under the surface, as evidenced by what I have seen in the tactics used by Carlsbad teachers in the verification of signature calls they made last year, is two-fold:

On one hand, there is a fear of retaliation to one extreme, and the enticement of, well I will call it “reciprocity” to the other. Either way, the second point becomes my prediction of the future of Oxford in Carlsbad:

We will get this school here. I have always believed that and I believe reason and logic will prevail. We have truth and irrefutable tangible evidence that will win the day. Until then, many people will be silent until we have an actual physical campus and Oxford is open for students. People are simply too afraid to risk popping their heads up and placing their kids on the school district’s radar. That’s what I heard in my phone calls. No one is going to leave the security of the cliff until they actually see the hand that saves them. Understandibly, people are hesitant to take a leap of faith at this juncture.

But believe me, when we are open for business, watch how fast the woodwork will be seeing a psychologist due to sudden onset depression brought on by lonliness! But it’s ok, they will be just as welcome as the heavy lifters.

carlsbad4opa February 8, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Well stated.

Support education choice February 8, 2013 at 7:14 pm

You know in this day and age you would think that the public would be smarter to look beyond hear say and really find out the truth about where the money goes. You would think that the public would look for the truth instead of listening to people twisting words around. If one would just look and ask questions you would find all you need on Oxford the truth about how much it is needed and they will not hurt the community. Oxford would set higher expectations for the other schools in the area, which consist of more than api scores. What is one choice for one, may not be for another. We should just be supporting each other. Yes, yes OXFORD for choice and higher education, operating at a low cost, and thinking of the children of our future.

FreeChoiceParent February 8, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Well said and thank you!

FreeChoiceParent February 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm

The level of parental envolvement is one of the aspects of OPA which I believe is amongst the core of its success. You have a self-fufilling prophesy situation going on. A large group of frustrated parents who are concerned about their children’s education get together and fight, and I mean fight (ask any founding parent of Chino or OC) for a better way. With anything you fight so hard for, with victory comes a sense of ownership and investment. You feel comraderie with the other parents who sacrificed so much with you, the time, signature gathering, meetings, time spent on blogs dispelling rumors, etc. That is what I want to be a part of. I saw that myself when I toured Oxford. I saw parents there volunteering, and the pride in their accomplishment was palpable. Their encouragement in us to keep going on the get Carlsbad approved was motivating. Once you achieve victory in fighting for something you believe in, you are less likely to allow that victory to slip from your grasp, hense, the continued follow-up commitment I saw with the founding parents. Truely amazing.

FreeChoiceParent February 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm

I would suspect most, if not all, of those who are posting negatively about OPA have not seen the program for themselves. It is absolutely without a doubt amazing. I have been a cop for well over 10 years now and the kids I saw in Oxford nearly brought me to tears. They were the antithisis of so many of the kids I see frequently in school. Their level of respect was shocking. Their confidence was inspiring. I felt everyone on each class was engaged and excited to be there. They have a 99% attendance rate!! I left there knowing none of those kids were going to leave that environment later in life and becoming my problem.

Carlsbad Jim February 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm


FreeChoiceParent February 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm

To all those who will play the race card…

The L.A. Times ran an article citing the California Schools Guide, in which Oxford Chino earned a 10/10 on the diversity ranking. This means Oxford Chino is the most ethnically diverse.

This is a fact, and is is without dispute.

FreeChoiceParent February 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Let me be amongst the first to head off a mountain of monumental lies, distortions, and innuendo that will follow this article. There are many out there who are deathly afraid of the success Oxford will bring to Carlsbad. They have a kingdom to protect. Oxford’s numbers don’t lie. Speaking of numbers and lying, the San Juan Capistrano school district last year felt so threatened by the success of OPA they launched a shameful attack with an investigation into the API score of 993 for the OC Oxford. Not only was Oxford exonerated of the charges, the school district sealed the findings, which OPA had to sue for public release and SJCSD to subsequently apologise.

Don't tell me what I don't need February 8, 2013 at 4:10 pm

I find it unbelievable that ANYONE has the right to tell me what I need or don’t need. I am a long time Carlsbad resident who has paid taxes of every kind over many years. I have earned the right, as a Carlsbad resident, and tax payer to tell everyone that I DO want a CHOICE. There are no inter-district transfers from the San Marcos Unified Schools to the CUSD. And honestly, even if there were- I am not sure that I would take it. I am excited about the possibility of Oxford Preparatoy Academy coming here. I have read amazing things and seen the passion of the parents who are involved. I like uniforms and working with parents who are active in their childrens’ education. I want my daughter to get a better start in Science than my other daughters did. I want her to learn Spanish. I want her to have the best possible opportunity for a solid education. I feel that for our family, this would be at Oxford Preparatory Academy Charter School. So please, if you are satisfied with your decision- that is great for you, but don’t let misinformation about how the process works lead you to think you have the right to tell me what I may or may not need.

Lookatthescores February 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm

GO TO GREATSCHOOLS.COM. They are an independent agency. Enter your school. Click on test scores. Scroll down look at the graph for similar schools.,,then enter OPA, look at their scores, especially their non whites. they blow Carlsbad away. Anyone who does not want the ability to send their kid to a better school is not educated. CUSD will make excuses for why there should not be a charter school, it is up to us as parents to do the research and decide what is best for our children

Just this year, Carlsbad unified started charging money to after school programs in the district. It is a travesty. The good ones are gone, cuz the classes cost too much money. Now, their “fundraising arm called CEF is trying to take over all of the afterschool make, yes thats right, MONEY> is all about money, who gets who spends …it is not about your kids.

AlyssaT February 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm

“Something is rotten in the State of Denmark” Hamlet act I, scene 4 (In this case, CUSD)

Ms. “Not So” Lovely stated that she counted on her team who spent over 200 hrs to review the charter petition and found that Oxford did not meet the Ed Codes, 8 of the 16 elements. And that her review team were objective.

Perhaps CUSD and staff follow a different set of Ed Codes than the State’s Board of Education. SBOE gave Oxford 50/50 score and approved start-up grant. Hmmm.

Another Carlsbad Parent February 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Carlsbad Parent,

That is exactly where the difference of opinion lies. You believe there is not a “need”, yet many parents do. If you’re content by what you see going on in Carlsbad schools, good for you! I certainly am not. Am I being greedy because I want my children to have foreign language, science lab, PE, music, and art several times per week? I don’t think so. Do I want to prepare my children to be competitive in the future? Absolutely!

I believe there is a “need” for better schools. It doesn’t make me content to know that 77% of Carlsbad schools received a Similar Schools rank between 1-5. Am I sick of having poor teachers that are tenured and therefore cannot get fired? Yes!!

I would like to know your research on how Oxford will be draining the Carlsbad district.

mimip February 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Let’s talk about draining our resources. Please drive by Sage Creek on any given night, what do you supposed the cost to have that hugh campus lit every night?

Not needed, says who? Suzette “not so” Lovely? Why don’t you go and ask the Hispanic population at Jefferson what they were told by the school principal and staff. These parents were told that OPA will deport them, they were told they will not be allowed back at Jefferson. The scare tactics is unbelievable. Who determined that there is not a need for OPA? You and the PTA president, CUSD staff? Well, the parents of Carlsbad, regardless of race, income or neighborhood where we reside believe OPA is much needed in Carlsbad.

Carlsbad parent February 8, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I’m actually well researched on charter schools and schools in general. My example about the different school sites only mentions ONE of the many great programs at each of the sites. I am not a Pac Rim parent either. Multiple intelligence concept is going on in every school.

I already knew about all of the myths and reality. However, you didn’t mention that it is still a new school that has to be established where is not needed.

We do not need another school draining our resources.

I am well aware that this is not a private school. It is just a resource drainer to the existing public school system.

SOME parent want this choice but not most. Look at the survey results of those that initially signed the petition.

Fact: Most parents that will apply for “other options” are those of higher demographics.

I have done a lot of research on this ISSUE and that is why I was compelled to speak up.

I believe in school choice IF AND ONLY IF there is a need. That is where we will probably differ in opinion!

letsgetalong February 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm

OK, I see so can you then tell us who says the school is not needed? Have you researched and compaired your school or the district in general to the similar schools ranking?

Also you are lucky if you have a teacher who is correctly using the Howard Garners theory, but in all my years with my kids in school I have never seen it or heard about it, or seen it in action. When you do get to see the campus you would see how much more they get and you think you are getting but our schools don’t compair. It is much better to bury your head in the sand pretend our schools are fabulous, or leaders in our district are wonderful and truly looked into Oxford and decided it was not a good school. Although the state would differ with them.

Then how is it a money drainer? CUSD is running on a huge deficiet, Oxford has 5% reserve positive cash flow and you see that in the standard programs the kids have at OPA verses the cut ones in CUSD. OPA don’t have one school that is better then the other because the PTA or Friends of Pac Rim raised a bunch of money. They have keyboards, full time science teachers with a full time science lab, music, martial arts and it goes on and on and that is not based on how much extra money the PTA or Friends raise. They run the school with less money then our traditional schools. How they do that and our district can’t is the question. So for someone like me who wants this school PLEASE tell me how this will drain our school district. If 700 Carlsbad students (and the money follows them) go to OPA on a Carlsbad school site, nothing changes, plus OPA leases the property from the district for a large amount of money which our district needs. Plus OPA got the start up grant of 575K. So again how will that drain any money out of Carlsbad district or effect you and your child who stays at the school you chose?

The school is needed here once anyone sees that your child can get a better education and better way of educationing children is possible, you want it. We don’t need to settle for what we have regardless of socio economics our kids deserve the best, just because we are a middle class to upper class city doesn’t mean we don’t need or deserve the best education our tax dollars can buy. As for the lower socio economic families in our community look at the statistics and Oxford does a much better job educationing them then Carlsbad, so they deserve it too.

Sounds like everyone on here will have to agree to disagree. Then when Oxford gets here they can prove those of us who want them here we were right, if they fail miserably then those of you who don’t want them are right. But they have never gone into a district or community and failed they only inspired and challenged the districts to do better. So we can all win and that is the goal here!

Carlsbad Parent February 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm

All I have to say is do the research yourself. My kids go to a high API school with money and I was still absolutely blown away by what amazing things I saw at Oxford Preparatory Academy Chino. It just opened my world to what children should be getting at school. Like I said I come from a school with a high API and money. Hands down no comparison to what I saw with my own eyes. Three things that stood out to me were the critical thinking skills observable in every area of CA standards, the amazing exposure to language, history, technology, science and music all intertwined with the grade level curriculum and lastly the amazing culture of creativity and that every child can strive to higher education through hard work. I ask the SDCOE to please take all the excuses off the table i.e. politics, unions, fear, thinking there is loss of control and emotion. Then please I ask them as higher education professionals to vote on truthful, honest and objective data. With the state of the California school system in dire straits, even with Prop 30 passing, I would think other choices would be a necessity to think out of the box.

I encourage other parents to stop listening to all the emotional drama and go do the research on your own. That is what I did and I was literally blown away. I brought a retired public school teacher and administrator with me when I toured the Oxford Prep in Chino. She asked tough questions to the Oxford Prep Chino principal. I wanted a very knowledgeable higher educational professional with me to observe things I might not see. Basically after our tour this individual I brought said to me, “EVERYONE WILL WANT TO SEND THEIR KIDS TO THIS SCHOOL AND I AM IMPRESSED”. Again do your own homework and you will be amazed with Oxford Preparatory Academy Charter!!!!

giveparentsachoice February 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I think a lot of people are succumbing to the myths of what a charter school really is. Here are some common myths of charter schools:

MYTH: Charter schools are private schools.
REALITY: Charter schools are public schools open to any child, free of charge. They offer options to families that may be dissatisfied with their local schools, but cannot afford private school.
Choice is a powerful tool for parents seeking educational equity and equal access to quality education for their children. Read more Frequently Asked Questions about charter schools.

MYTH: Charter public schools accept only the “cream of the crop” and reject underperforming students.
REALITY: Unlike exclusive private schools, charter public schools do not recruit and select “the best” students. When enrollment requests exceed the number of seats, charter schools are required by law to hold a public lottery to determine who will attend. Because they are free and open to all, charter public schools do not engage in selective admissions policies.

California charter schools serve a large number of students traditionally considered to be low-achieving or otherwise “at-risk,” educating some of the state’s most underserved students, allowing them to achieve success where the conventional system failed to do so. Research shows that charter schools educate diverse students of varying aptitudes.

MYTH: Charter public schools do not provide special education services.
REALITY: Like all public schools, charter schools understand their responsibility to serve all students, and charter schools are committed to serving students with exceptional needs. In fact, because charter schools are designed to have more flexibility than traditional public schools, they are uniquely situated to provide innovative, high-quality educational services to students with unique learning needs. Find out more.

MYTH: Charter public school enrollment does not reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.
REALITY: Like California’s population, charter school students are incredibly diverse. As of the 2010-11 school year, 45% of state charter students are Hispanic/Latino, 33% are White, 11% are African American, 4% percent are Asian, and 5% are other (Indian, Pacific Islander, Filipino, Multi-racial subgroups).

MYTH: Charter public schools take money away from public schools.
REALITY: In California, public school funding follows the student, with the funding going to the public school the parents choose, whether a charter school or a traditional district school. When charter public schools are funded, there is no overall loss of public school money because charter schools are public schools. However, even with the funding “following the student” charter schools receive less funding for each student than a school district would if it were to serve the same student.

MYTH: Charter public schools receive more money than district public schools.
REALITY: In most cases, charter schools receive LESS federal and state money than district public schools, for a variety of reasons. For instance, charter schools do not have the same access to local parcel taxes and bonds as traditional districts and often have to pay to rent facilities out of their operating funds. Charter schools have also been particularly hard hit by the state budget crisis because they are not able to access low-cost financing as school districts can to help address state deferrals. Find out more.

MYTH: Charter public schools are not held accountable for academic performance.
REALITY: Charter schools, unlike traditional public schools, are academically accountable on two counts. They are held accountable by their authorizer (usually the local school district) and, most importantly, by the families they serve. When a team of school developers submit their charter petition, they must define their academic goals In order to be authorized, their goals must be rigorous. In order to stay open, they must meet or exceed those goals. Families make the choice to enroll their children in charter schools, and families can remove them if they are dissatisfied with the school. A charter school that neglects its academic duties will soon find that its enrollment has dwindled, as well as its budget accordingly, and major changes may be necessary for the school to remain open

MYTH: Charter schools operate without any oversight.
REALITY: Charter schools must operate within the provisions of state and federal law. They must abide by health, safety and civil rights laws, and cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex or national origin. Charter governance bodies are subject to various business regulations, such as ethical financial practices, and public body rules, such as open meeting laws. Charter schools also have oversight from their authorizers (usually the local school district, county office of education or State Board of Education). In fact, the very name charter refers to the “contract” that the school enters into with their authorizer. Authorizers review financial reports, have the authority to conduct audits, determine if the school is to be renewed at the end of the charter’s term (usually every five years) and can revoke a charter for certain reasons within charter law if the school is not meeting the terms of its charter.

MYTH: Charter public schools are an unproven experiment.
REALITY: The incredible growth in charter schools – nearly 1,000 schools serving more than 412,000 students, as well as long waiting lists for most charter schools – suggest that families believe charters to be a common sense solution to their education needs. As outlined in CCSA’s Portrait of the Movement, for families in urban centers, charters represent a beacon of hope – charters serving low-income populations are much more likely to be high-performing than non-charters serving low-income populations. Read about more academic successes that charter schools are having.

MYTH: Charter public schools are a fad.
REALITY: Families of the more than 484,000 students in California are enrolled in the state’s 1,063+ charter schools would not call charters a fad. Charter public schools are an important part of the state’s public school system, providing a space for innovation, educational opportunity in low-income communities and unique curriculum options. Charter schools have been reinventing public education in California for nearly 20 years and most Californians, according to public opinion research, consider them a “bright spot” in the educational landscape.

giveparentsachoice February 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm

OPA’s value to the community of Carlsbad is undeniable. PLEASE show me a school in Carlsbad that does all the things OPA does and scores as well as they do. It’s all about having another choice. Isn’t that what AMERICA is about? The freedom to choose? Please don’t take this away. If the school is not for you, that’s okay, but let others make the choice if it’s right for them. Sadly, the Buena Vista Parents are sorely misled. Buena Vista has been bleeding for a few years now, the threat of closure has been looming long before OPA came into the picture.CUSD just needed someone to blame it on and they used OPA for that. Buena Vista parents disdain for OPA is totally misdirected. Look at all the facts and don’t base your judgements on emotion.

baseballDAD February 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm

First and foremost, I want to say that I do love CUSD schools and I am proud to be in the district and I support having Oxford Prep. I believe that OPA will be a positive addition to the CUSD. This is not a new school, OPA’s got 2 other campuses that soared to be #1 in their counties! It comes down to having another option of high-quality education available to Carlsbad, serving Carlsbad students.

@ Carlsbadparent, perhaps you might not prefer Multiple Intelligence, then it’s not the right school for you, and that’s ok. Please do research before commenting. I would like this option for my children.

Janice V. February 8, 2013 at 10:19 am

We are so excited that Oxford is going the distance. When I did my own research on Oxford it is clear that the district clearly mislead us in their findings. Oxford got a 50 out of 50 when audited by the state, so clearly to say they do not meet all 16 requirements in not true. Plus I just heard they got a start up grant for the opening of the Carlsbad school of over 500 thousand, in order to get that grant they had to be a very well run school those are not easy to get. So for those of us who were suspicious in the beginning do like I did and do your own research the only conclusion you can come to is that the CUSD was untruthful to say the least and think as parents we will accept their lack of integrity through out this entire process. Plus I am sorry the BV parents are being upset since the district wants them to believe OPA is targeting there school. I think the district should give them a school that has API scores going down or that is so bad that parents are given the option of going to another school and the district will bus them there, yes we have school like that in our district…check it out for yourself!

Carlsbad parent February 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm

This charter school is absolutely unnecessary in this community. Most parents residing within the district agree. The petition that OPA asked parents to sign was grossly misleading. The interest is not at the level OPA is claiming there to be. All parents have the option to choose schools other than the one designated by boundary. Each one is unique in programs offered. OPA is not bringing anything to the table that at least one of the sites isn’t implementing already (a site with a very high API in Pacific Rim, languages of study at Jefferson, a very thorough arts program at Hope, to name a few). Multiple intelligences is not a novel concept and is innately considered when developing lessons and units of study. Why does OPA really care if this school opens here? What is the benefit for them? Everyone claims it’s a public school but it doesn’t exist yet. I don’t my tax money going for yet another school!

Another Carlsbad Parent February 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Carlsbad Parent,

I’m a little confused by your argument against Oxford. Are you saying that my children can go to multiple schools? My children currently can’t receive foreign language instruction, a great art program, and a school with amazing API scores. They would have to choose one of those. Well, guess what? They can get all of that at OPA!

By the way, Multiple Intelligences is not a novel concept. You are right. It just isn’t being implemented effectively in our schools.

LanaKing February 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm

@Carlsbad parent
“Everyone claims it’s a public school but it doesn’t exist yet.” Are you sure you know what you are opposing???

For parents like myself who do pay taxes and mello roos, I would like another option in public education, other than the district schools. If you feel it’s unesscessary for you, don’t enroll your children. There are plenty of parents like myself who will.

There is a strong support for Oxford in Carlsbad. Like with anything, there are the ones front and center with Oxford, and there are those who are waiting on the sideline waiting to jump in, and they will.

More4carlsbad February 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Carlsbad Parent, I am assuming you are a Pac Rim parent and you are lucky you have fabulous API scores more money for programs etc…that is one school. Once you leave that island see that other schools have dropping API scores have dramatically cut programs and are being taken over by other agencies to get them up to standards, or they are on the verge of being taken over. THERE IS a lot of support in Carlsbad, if you are happy then that is awesome, congrats. But we will not be paying for ANOTHER school it will be a school with Carlsbad students taking their rightful money with them. Your money will stay with your child at the school you are most happy at.Our school board lied to us and why they did that I don’t know. I have never seen adults act so morally corrupt but that is the CUSD take it or leave it. I like others choose to leave it.

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