Oxford Charter School Approved (By Chino)

by MissionViejoDispatch.com on January 22, 2010

   Oxford Preparatory Academy’s application to create a charter school was unanimously approved last night by the Chino Valley Unified School District Trustees. Oxford also applied to the Saddleback Valley School District for a charter school in Mission Viejo, but was denied last month on a 3-2 vote after Superintendent Fish presented a lengthy written recommendation against the plan.

   Chino was scheduled to vote on the issue in December but postponed the matter until January 21 after learning of Saddleback’s negative action.  A thorough review of Dr. Fish’s report did not impair the final outcome in Chino.  Oxford’s attorney represents 2/3 of the state’s charter schools and felt Oxford’s application was one of the best in California.

   SVUSD’s rejection flew in the face of state and federal education policy which encourages charter schools for enhancing innovation and productivity in education. The creation of charter schools is a factor for obtaining federal school funds under the new Race To The Top program.

   The Chino Board approved Oxford by 1) approving its proposed charter, 2) approving an employment Memorandum of Understanding, and 3) approving a special education Memorandum of Understanding. Oxford will open at an existing public school in the Chino District next Fall.

   It is unclear whether Saddleback parents and the founders of Oxford will appeal the SVUSD rejection to the OC Board of Education. Dr. Fish’s administration has not been as receptive as Chino in working cooperatively with Oxford to achieve a mutually acceptable charter arrangement.

   Click here to view previous articles about Oxford.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Westerland January 22, 2010 at 11:59 am

It’s good to see there is at least one school district that is willing to work with Oxford. Hopefully SVUSD will re-think their decision. This district could use an infusion of fresh academic ideals.

Bert Bennett January 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm

An outstanding result for Chino and another glaring reflection on the current administration in Saddleback. Dr. Fish has taken the “my way or hit the highway” approach and has been unwilling to listen to alternatives to improve education in Mission Viejo. I guess he would rather see Mission Viejo remove itself from Saddleback Valley Unified and establish its own School District which could then grant the charter, and use the excellent facilities in the city without squandering the assets and causing so much anger, divisiveness, and unnecessay legal expenses. Oxford offered this wonderful model to Mission Viejo and Chino. Only Chino (so far) has been smart enough to unanimously grab it. The students there will be better for the choice. Lets push on and get the same in Mission Viejo!! Good Luck Oxford and please don’t give up the fight here.

Jim Newman January 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Well it’s nice to see some people can actually be open minded to the need’s of education. Congrats to Chino

Kim Price January 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Let’s get this approved in Mission Viejo now! Go Oxford!

Romney Miller January 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm

This is wonderful news for the folks in Chino. Let’s hope a charter school can open here in Mission Viejo. A charter school can offer educational choice to many families.

Christy Smith January 23, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Congrats to Chino!! I wish that our school district administrators could be as open-minded and forward thinking. The children of SVUSD would benefit from, and deserve to have this educational opportunity as well.

Felicia Golemo January 26, 2010 at 9:31 am

I am neutral on this subject since I don’t know all of the background on charter schools and what it will cost a family to send a children to such a school. Maybe it is time for a change? The old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” does not apply to SVUSD or CUSD since ‘it seems to be broke’, however I am not sure that a charter school would fix all of the school’s woes. It would be nice to have such a school on a trial basis to see how it works and how well the children do in the academic environment. Lots of the long time institutions should be upgraded to keep up with new ideas and technology that impact our world today. Change might be good; won’t know unless we try.

[Editor's Note: Charter schools are free public schools; there is no additional tuition.]

Renae Gonzales February 8, 2010 at 10:23 pm

I am amazed at how many people (School Board Members, including the O.C. Superintendent) would agree with the SVUSD Superintendent’s recommendation of voting “no” on the Charter school. Luckily, Dr. Fish has no choice in the matter and I’m sure it will be appealed.

Steven Fish does not belong in the position as superintendent over a public school district. His lack of genuine concern for the students is apparent in this decision especially since he wasted funds from a stripped budget he complains about on the district website in order for him and his staff to orchestrate a 32 page “report” on why “he” believes the board of education should vote “no” on charter schools.

A Charter school would give parents more control over their child’s education. The only reason he would be against it is that parents would want to put their children in a Charter school thereby attendance would drop further in his already failing schools.

Lana Janew August 7, 2011 at 2:46 pm

SVUSD thinks about money, not about kids! Charters schools are the best choice for the USA! All public schools and school districts should be closed! This a capitalist country, not communist! We need smart teachers like in charter schools, not those idiots (most of them are) who teach in public schools.

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