Successful Charter School Fights Off Anonymous Cheating Allegations

Oxford Preparatory Academy, a K-8 charter school in Mission Viejo, Calif., has been a smashing success in just a single year of existence. It received the highest score in its school district in academic performance scores.

It’s reward? Anonymously being accused of cheating and having to deal with an investigation. As we noted earlier today on Reason 24/7, the independent investigation concluded that there’s no evidence any cheating took place. The school is just that awesome. From the Orange County Register:

An independently run Capistrano Unified school being investigated for possible misconduct during state standardized testing in the spring has been exonerated of wrongdoing, the school district has announced.

Oxford Preparatory Academy, a K-8 public charter school in Mission Viejo, was cleared following an independent, two-month investigation, the district said Wednesday – a tacit admission that Oxford did, in fact, earn a near-perfect Academic Performance Index score of 993 out of 1,000 in its first year of operation

"Capistrano Unified is pleased with the exceptionally high API scores of CUSD students attending Oxford Preparatory Academy and other CUSD schools," district spokeswoman Beverly de Nicola said in a statement.

For once I recommend scrolling down and reading the comments at the end of the story.

Only one school in all of Orange County performed better, by two whole points (and that school also has a competitive application process).

So, since Oxford Preparatory Academy’s teaching methods seem to be so successful, it should be easier to let them start more charter schools elsewhere, right? No, of course not. Don’t be silly. Trustees at Carlsbad Unified School District unanimously rejected a proposal by Oxford Preparatory Academy Wednesday to start a charter school there, claiming “major deficiencies” in its plans. Carlsbad Unified School District currently has no charter schools.

Also of note: Oxford’s Preparatory Academy’s API scores beat every single school’s scores in Carlsbad Unified School District.

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  • Rich||

    [Oxford Prep] earned ... the second-highest API score in Orange County. Only the similarly named Oxford Academy ... scored higher

    Emphasis added. Now, *that* calls for an investigation.

  • A Serious Man||

    Funny because I had friends that went to Oxford Academy which is in Cypress (North OC) and they apparently resented always being mistaken for Oxford Prep in Mission Viejo (South OC).

  • Randian||

    I blame Ed Asner.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Needs moar plutocrats peeing on teachers.

  • silent v||

    Hey, I have a teacher living in my neighborhood. They can't be the problem!

  • Ted S.||

    And you haven't peed on them yet?

  • waaminn||

    Sounds pretty legit to me dude. Wow.

    www.IP-Hidden.tk

  • RPR2||

    an anonymous false charge. when do they investigate who made the false charge?

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    PubliKKK Skool Union Thug: "Don't look at me!"

  • GILMORE||

    we need a ratio= "test scores/spending-per-pupil"

  • ||

    I also like to see one based on test scores/administrators-per-pupil.

  • Rich||

    For once I recommend scrolling down and reading the comments at the end of the story.

    They do give a clue as to why the students scored well.

  • Jerryskids||

    Here in Georgia, we just passed a Constitutional amendment to allow the state to charter schools instead of just the local school boards being allowed to approve them.

    Of course, all the usual suspects opposed the amendment, arguing that #1- nobody wants or needs charter schools and the public school systems are doing just swell, and #2 - if you allowed it, everybody would rush to build charter schools, abandoning the public schools and how can the public schools get any better if parents pull their kids from crappy schools?

    Part of the proof that charter schools weren't really a good idea was comparing test scores - ignoring the fact that the only charter schools that tend to get built when the method of getting one built involves getting the local school board to approve of your charter school are charter schools that aren't much different than the local schools. I mean, can you really expect to get a charter school approved by going to the local school board and telling them they are doing a really crappy job and you want to start a school to compete with them just to prove what a crappy job they are doing and so can you please get their permission to start a school?

    It will be interesting to see how this goes.

  • The Derider||

    I think this is a great school doing a great job of instruction.

    There are problems comparing this school to other schools in the district, due to barriers to enrollment. For example:

    1) The school has a dress code, and school uniforms must be bought at a high-priced uniform store.

    2) The school does not offer any transportation. Parents must provide it themselves.

    Also, the school is a magnet for gifted kids. That's a good thing, and they do a great job teaching those kids. However, it's not surprising that a school with a large proportion of gifted students does better than schools with a lower proportion. Particularly when you're only talking about grades K, 1, and 2, where the abilities of gifted students are so markedly apparent.

  • ||

    But no one cares what you think, court jester. Why are you so fucking stupid?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Quit feeding it from the table, Episiarch. You'll make it think its a person.

  • ||

    Nothing that short can think it's a person.

  • ||

    Sure it can. Kids do all the time, and joey's much shorter than that.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    You ever look at a public school and see how many parents DRIVE their little ones the whole three blocks to school? C'mon, what planet are you from?

  • ||

    Planet of the Midgets.

  • The Derider||

    I do.

    But even in Orange county, the poorest parents may not have the resources to drive their kids to and from school.

    If a school can restrict the poorest students from attending, intentionally or unintentionally, you'd expect standardized testing scores to rise.

    This makes raw comparisons with other schools more difficult.

  • ||

    God damn you're stupid, joe. So how did the Fleshlight rape go? Was it good for you?

  • Sevo||

    The Derider| 12.6.12 @ 7:16PM |#
    ..."This makes raw comparisons with other schools more difficult."

    Yes, it does. Please provide cooked comparisons.
    Oh, wait! That's what you've been doing!

  • BoscoH||

    The school uniforms can't be any more expensive than all the Attack of the Clones merch that every K-4 boy thinks he needs to wear to school everyday.

  • Hugh Akston||

    You...you seem to know a lot about what little boys wear these days.

  • BoscoH||

    And little girls with all their Monster High shirts. I'm telling you, it will break the average parent, and dog-forbid if there's an extended family involved in the kid's life. It will break them too!

  • Ted S.||

    BoscoH is Pedoanonbot?

  • ||

    Heh. Maybe BoscoH just has kids that age? Yikes what a shark tank this place is. I love it.

    I was once asked what I would like to be if I were reincarnated. My answer was " A girl's bicycle seat."

    Go ahead...tear into me.

  • A Serious Man||

    Dude, this is southern Orange County. Just about every kid at the public schools in that district is probably middle to upper middle class.

    The disparity shouldn't be that great.

  • The Derider||

    The district has 39% "socio-economically disadvantaged" students. This school has 24%.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    You do realize the article was about a school in Mission Viejo, Orange County. You keep referring to charts for it's sister school in Chino, San Bernardino County.

  • The Derider||

    You're right!

    First, this is clearly a really good charter organization, as they are getting great results in multiple places. Their websites for the two schools look insanely similar.

    Second, the demographics for this school are even more skewed than the first.

    District Oxford South OC
    Low SES 23% 17%
    English learner 15% 0% !!!
    SpEd 9% 5%

    This is a richer district, but the same patterns are there. The school didn't test a single english language learner. It's not mysterious why they had marginally superior test scores.

  • The Derider||

    Here's the links

    http://api.cde.ca.gov/Acnt2012.....ar=2005-06 &allcds=3066464&cChoice=2004BApiD

    http://api.cde.ca.gov/Acnt2012.....ar=2011-12 &allcds=30-664640124743

  • ||

    Your links show me none of the data you're posting. The second link actually says: "There is no data found for the requested school."

  • ||

    This is in contrast to the links you posted below, which seem to have actual information.

  • ||

    Also, are those percentage comparisons? What are you comparing it too? Which score is which? Is it a change in their scores from year to year?

  • ||

    Not to mention, if I'm reading your numbers right (first column is the district, second column is Oxford), there is actually LESS of a discrepancy in these scores than in the other set posted.

  • ||

    Went ahead and found a list of schools in the district: here.

    Makes for easier comparison.

  • Sevo||

    The Derider| 12.6.12 @ 8:17PM |#
    "The district has 39% "socio-economically disadvantaged" students. This school has 24%."

    How about data on other schools? Do others have the same attendance data and different results?
    Let's see it.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Particularly when you're only talking about grades K, 1, and 2, where the abilities of gifted students are so markedly apparent.

    Markedly apparent compared to what? Preschool?

  • The Derider||

    Compared to when they're older.

    Gifted kids in Kindergarten stand out a lot more than in 12th grade, because in Kindergarten they're the only kids that can read, whereas in 12th grade they just read better than the average kid.

  • ||

    But you don't "stand out" anywhere, joe. Get it? Because you're super short?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    You are so full of shit.

    1. You're talking about a fixed skill. Yes, being able to dress yourself when you're 16 is less of an indicator of giftedness than being able to do so when you're 1. But being able to do calculus when you're 16 is an indicator of giftedness that is not available at earlier ages.

    2. Kids' brains mature at different rates. Einstein, for example, was considered a slow kid when he was school age. There's no reason to think the kid who learns to tie his shoes first is most likely to be the one who becomes a genius when he gets older.

  • The Derider||

    I don't disagree with you at all.

    Remember, this school is only grades K, 1, and 2. I'm saying that the difference between gifted kids and non-gifted kids is more stark at that age, and that will be reflected in standardized testing.

    My prediction is as the school grows, the differences between its standardized scores and those of the district as a whole will become smaller.

    I still think this is a great school!

  • ||

    joe, how many times do we have to go over this: noone cares what you think, you short fuck. Don't you have a stool to mount somewhere?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Actually, the difference between gifted and nongifted kids barely shows up on standardized testing because the tests are designed to be doable by an average kid. We're not talking about the Math GRE here.

  • The Derider||

    Again, the difference is largest when the kids are young, because standardized testing in 1st grade is basically "can you read at all"?

    Also note that the school has far fewer english language learners than the district as a whole. Those differences are also the greatest when kids are young. ELL kids are still learning spoken English at that age.

  • ||

    Wow, substitute teaching has taught you so much about the education process, hasn't it, joe. Like how a substitute teacher is incredibly pathetic, right?

  • Sidd Finch||

    Remember, this school is only grades K, 1, and 2.

    the first 5 words of the post: "Oxford Preparatory Academy, a K-8"

  • The Derider||

    The same is true on both campuses this organization has in OC.

  • Nephilium||

    Or, the kids who were classified as "gifted" when they were young learned to tone down their abilities as they socialized.

  • Sevo||

    Hey, dipshit:
    "Also, the school is a magnet for gifted kids."

    "OPA SOC did not cherry-pick students; OPA SOC students come from local public, private, and home-school programs all over Orange County;"
    http://www.ocregister.com/news.....trict.html (comments)

  • Sidd Finch||

    I've been surfing their site. It does have open enrollment, but it's definitely an advanced school.

  • Sevo||

    And the OC public school system offers ~30 magnet schools, and it seems not one of which got results anywhere close.
    http://magnetschools.us/county/orange_ca

  • Sidd Finch||

    The link goes to a list of charters and magnets. Not really sure what your point is.

  • Sevo||

    The point is that there are public magnet schools which, by definition are 'selective', and this one out-performs all of them.

  • The Derider||

    I'm saying there are plenty of ways, both intentional and not, to create a school with a population of kids who are easier to educate than at the "average" school.

    They don't need to cherrypick for this to be true.

  • ||

    joe, have you ever actually picked a cherry? No, right? Because you're too short, right?

  • Sevo||

    The Derider| 12.6.12 @ 7:21PM |#
    "I'm saying there are plenty of ways, both intentional and not, to create a school with a population of kids who are easier to educate than at the "average" school."
    You mean all public schools are "average"? You mean none of the public schools manage to get anywhere close to these results, therefore someone must be cheating, right?

    "They don't need to cherrypick for this to be true."
    No, just bone-headed enough to make the claim.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    And you have no evidence for it being true either.

  • The Derider||

    See my comment below.

    The school has 4% english language learners. The district has 20%.

    The school has 10.6% students with learning disabilities, the district has 12.9%.

    The school has 24.4% "socio-economically disadvantaged" students. The district has 39.3%.

    http://api.cde.ca.gov/Acnt2011.....=2004BApiD

    http://api.cde.ca.gov/Acnt2011.....6780121590

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Those are seriously small differences compared to what you were claiming.

  • The Derider||

    1) When did I claim there were massive differences? I said demographic differences made raw comparisons with other schools difficult.

    2) Having 80% fewer english language learners is a serious difference. So is having 40% fewer poor kids.

  • ||

    joe, you are one seriously stupid mother fucker. But deep down, you know that, don't you.

  • Sevo||

    The Derider| 12.6.12 @ 7:45PM |#
    "See my comment below.
    The school has 4% english language learners. The district has 20%.
    The school has 10.6% students with learning disabilities, the district has 12.9%.
    The school has 24.4% "socio-economically disadvantaged" students. The district has 39.3%."

    OK, we know how it deviated from the average in results. And we now we know how it deviated from the average in attendance; not a whole hell of a lot.
    Please now tell us how its results deviated from other schools which deviated from the average in attendance.
    Or admit you're picking the cherries.

  • ||

    As pointed out elsewhere in this thread, that's the wrong district and school. Went ahead and found a list of schools in the correct district: here.

    Makes for easier comparison.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    1) The school has a dress code, and school uniforms must be bought at a high-priced uniform store.

    Looking at the school website, you have to purchase uniforms from the school. Prices are reasonable.
    http://soc.opacharterschools.c.....703&type=d

    2) The school does not offer any transportation. Parents must provide it themselves.

    Looks like there are resources for parents to organize carpools. It also looks like they are trying to pool resources and get a bus. Besides, it is in South County. Very hilly, with large rural tracts, and everything is spread out. No kids walk to school there anyways.

    http://soc.opacharterschools.c.....705&type=d

    You are a fucking liar, and a mendacious twat. So climb up on your Cosco kitchen stool, and jam a fork in an electrical socket.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Oops. Looks like parents will have to drive to Huntington Beach to purchase uniforms from VickiMarsha. Or they could order items and have them shipped. But hey, why not drive to the store? And since they'll be in the neighborhood, check out the WWII Submarine Memorial.

  • The Derider||

    You are a fucking liar, and a mendacious twat. So climb up on your Cosco kitchen stool, and jam a fork in an electrical socket.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Are you saying the submarine memorial is not in the same neighborhood?

  • ||

    He's doesn't have to climb up, joe, he's not a pathetic midget like you.

  • Sevo||

    The Derider| 12.6.12 @ 7:12PM |#
    "You are a fucking liar, and a mendacious twat. So climb up on your Cosco kitchen stool, and jam a fork in an electrical socket."

    So you get called on your bullshit and this is the best you can do?
    Pathetic little twit.

  • The Derider||

    He called me a liar, and then immediately corrected himself because I was right all along.

  • ||

    We all call you a liar every time you post you fucking pathetic little shit. When's the last time a woman was even willing to talk to you? Has it been years, or just months?

  • Sevo||

    "1) The school has a dress code, and school uniforms must be bought at a high-priced uniform store."

    Nope; not high priced. Fail.

  • The Derider||

    I don't actually know the prices, since you had to create an account to view them at the uniform website.

    I'm pretty confident they're going to be more than at Fallas Paredes.

  • ||

    No one cares what you're pretty confident about joe, because we all know you have no confidence--you're too short.

  • Sevo||

    The Derider| 12.6.12 @ 7:57PM |#
    "I don't actually know the prices, since you had to create an account to view them at the uniform website."

    Gee, clicking on links! What a concept!
    http://soc.opacharterschools.c.....703&type=d
    Why, look there! Tops at ~$20! Cheaper than a pair of high-tops...

  • Sevo||

    Oh, and compare and contrast unis are OP to Sanchez public school in SF:
    "Uniforms
    White shirt or blouse and khaki pants, skirt or jumper"

  • Sevo||

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Roughly 80% of the ghetto dwellers I see on the bus are playing with their touchscreen phone the whole time, while I'm plodding along with my five year old flip phone. I think they can afford uniforms if it comes to it.

  • The Derider||

    I take the bus a lot in LA, and that isn't my experience.

    Regardless, you can compare that school
    http://api.cde.ca.gov/Acnt2011.....6780121590

    with the demographics of Chino Valley United
    http://api.cde.ca.gov/Acnt2011.....=2004BApiD

    You see that this school has about a third fewer "socio-economically disadvantaged" students than the district as a whole.

    I don't think that accounts for the whole difference, or even the majority. It does make raw comparisons problematic, particularly as the school also has 20% fewer students with disabilities, and 80% fewer English language learners.

  • Sevo||

    "You see that this school has about a third fewer "socio-economically disadvantaged" students than the district as a whole."

    Yeah. Now, let's see the charts for all the schools that didn't measure up.
    Or are you getting tire of making excuses?

  • The Derider||

    I'm comparing this school to the district as a whole-- the schools that didn't measure up.

    If you've got a point to make, I did all the work of actually finding the data.

  • ||

    We all know you have no fucking point at all, joe. You should kill yourself. Seriously.

  • Sevo||

    The Derider| 12.6.12 @ 7:55PM |#
    "I'm comparing this school to the district as a whole--"
    Or:
    "the schools that didn't measure up."
    Which is it, dipshit? Set or subset?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    ...I did all the work of actually finding the data.

    You do realize the article was about a school in Mission Viejo, Orange County. You keep referring to charts for it's sister school in Chino, San Bernardino County.

    So... you're either trying to be misleading, or you're stupid. Which one is it?

  • Sevo||

    Those charts are also seriously lacking in comparable data besides the districts.

  • ||

    AND they're the wrong numbers, since they're from the wrong district. Went ahead and found a list of schools in the correct district: here.

    Makes for easier comparison.

  • ||

    In LA? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Why you persist in your pathetic charade of pretending you're not the shortest joe from Lowell is beyond me, but hey, you're a fucking retard so who can understand what you do?

  • The Derider||

    I agree that one of us is engaged in a pathetic charade.

  • ||

    I'm glad, joe, the problem is that you won't admit it's you. Why are you such an unbelievable douchebag? I mean, you are the biggest piece of shit that comes to this site. And the best part is, you know it. I know you know it.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    You do realize the article was about a school in Mission Viejo, Orange County. You keep referring to charts for it's sister school in Chino, San Bernardino County.

    So... you're either trying to be misleading, or you're stupid. Which one is it?

  • fried wylie||

    grades K, 1, and 2, where the abilities of gifted students are so markedly apparent.

    In classes such as Advanced Coloring and Shapes 101....wtf?

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    Sure they cheated. They kept all of the answers in their heads.

  • Rich||

    Or, worse yet, *reasoned them out*.

  • A Serious Man||

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If it's a charter school that means its very existence is a cheat, a cheat on a system carefully constructed over that last decades to apply a singular solution on the myriad of problems of public education.

  • ||

    It's really a fascinatingly awful way to educate. I mean, can you think of a worse way than rounding up children early in the morning and forcing them into one-size-fits-all rooms that they cannot leave to be taught by one person who knows a little bit about a lot of subjects, or by several people who know a little bit more about one subject (but if they were truly knowledgeable they wouldn't be here), and then released from those rooms before their parents are done working (I mean, why aren't the kids hours at least 9 to 5 as well? If you're going to use school as taxpayer funded daycare anyway, why not match most people's work schedule?), and then assign them potentially hours of makework "homework" so that they can waste the rest of their day? It's almost like punishment. They're being punished for being kids.

  • Hugh Akston||

    If you keep high school kids until five, how are they gonna bone when their parents aren't home?

  • ||

    That's what school bleachers and your car are for. But I guess you wouldn't know anything about that; you were too busy LARPing and expanding your collection of My Little Pony dolls to be bother with girls.

  • A Serious Man||

    At my high school the dugouts were, apparently, the place where the slutty girls gave their boyfrieds blowjobs.

  • ||

    High school girls who give their boyfriends blowjobs aren't sluts, they're wonderful girls who are ahead of their time.

    And basically what you're saying is that you were LARPing right along side Hugh. Though you collected toenail clippings instead, and not just your own.

  • A Serious Man||

    I use boyfriend very loosely. A lot of them with such reputations were mopeds.

  • ||

    So you're not denying the LARPing or the toenail clippings.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Fuck you dude, I didn't have time for that shit. Building the perfect Magic deck for every possible occasion a tough process.

    I saw a Black Lotus card once.

  • ||

    "Oh my god, is that a Holographic EX Fire Red Leaf Green Charizard?!?"

  • Hugh Akston||

    pff. Pokemon is for little kids, loser.

  • ||

    Yeah. Yu-Gi-Oh! was where it was really at.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    It's really a fascinatingly awful way to educate. I mean, can you think of a worse way than rounding up children early in the morning and forcing them into one-size-fits-all rooms...

    That was the model for education for centuries in this country, but we only started getting really poor results in recent decades.

  • The Derider||

    And countries that kick our ass in math, science and reading all have compulsory education and all educate kids in classrooms.

  • ||

    joe, when you go looking for fights in bars because you're short, how many times do you get your ass kicked before you go home for the night? I'm curious.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, there are problems with comparing our kids to kids in other countries. Until all of those are sorted out, we can't make any real conclusions about our country's education system vs. the systems of other countries. So your claim here doesn't have much substance.

  • Sidd Finch||

    That was the model for education for centuries in this country, but we only started getting really poor results in recent decades.

    cite?

  • fried wylie||

    CENTURIES, BITCH! Like, so long ago that people didn't even speak english back then! And DON'T YOU CARE bring up the point of how public education didn't become ubiquitous until the 20th century. THE 20TH CENTURY MIGHT AS WELL HAVE BEEN THE STONE AGE!!11oneoneon4e

  • Brad W||

    Glad to hear it, especially since I'm hoping my son secures a lottery spot for kindergarten admission at Oxford Prep next fall.

    I've toured OPA and family friends have sent their kids to the Chino location, and all I can say is that I was jealous that I couldn't have gone there as a child!

    The good news is that there are two other charter schools in close proximity here, so we have a few potential other options that we'll be pursuing in parallel if we don't get lucky enough to get a lottery spot.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    So long 2012, it's been Good to know ya

  • A Serious Man||

    Your goddamn right we should forget #5, there's a baby named Reason now!

  • ||

    Does the list maker really not know that the "Blink 182 Girl" is an ex-porn star?

  • Sevo||

    Hey, deidiot, are you tired of being called on you constant bullshit? Or would you like to try again?
    If you do, try using real data rather than your standard cherry-picked crap, asshole.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    One would think the "cherrypicking" allegation would a good all-purpose way to dismiss the school's high scores. However, this wasn't considered sufficient to the anonymous accusers. They apparently *weren't* convinced that cherrypicking of students was a sufficient explanation for the difference. So they went for their second-choice explanation, cheating. That explanation didn't work, either.

    So what other alternative will they run through before considering that the academics at the school may actually be superior?

    And what does it say of the accusers that they assume that superior academic performance must be the result of cheating? Does this show a lot of confidence in the district schools - assuming that the accusers were supporters of those schools?

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