Did Charter School Students Stay Home on Test Day?

Although a blog claims lower-achieving Oxford students didn't show up for STAR testing, state numbers indicate otherwise. Oxford's participation rate was higher than average in Capo Unified.

Charter school students who are now under investigation for allegedly cheating on standardized testing took the exams at a slightly higher rate than students from across the Capistrano Unified School District.

On Sunday, the left-leaning Orange Juice Blog published unattributed accusations that Oxford Preparatory Academy officials encouraged poorer-performing students to stay home on days the Standardized Testing and Reporting, or STAR, exams were given in the spring.

But Sue Roche, superintendent for Oxford, said Monday when contacted by Patch: “The test participation rate will speak for itself.”

STAR results are part of the equation used to calculate a school’s Academic Performance Index score, a standard for measuring a school's success. Each school must have a 95 percent participation rate to meet federal accountability requirements, according to a document from the California Department of Education.

The state released STAR results in August, and they include participation rates, which show that 96.7 percent of OPA students took the English language arts test. 

The only grade level that dropped below 95 percent was the third grade, which saw 88.9 percent of its students tested. According to the state, OPA had 63 third-graders enrolled, and 56 took the tests.

OPA Chancellor Jason Watts said he wasn't sure why the third-grade figures were lower than the other grades. He does believe there will be some slight adjustments to the final participation rates.

"There were some students who had disenrolled in February far before the tests," Watts said. But they show up in the total enrollment figures. Once they're removed, the participation rate will go even higher, he said.

Overall, OPA students took the STAR at slightly higher rates than Capistrano Unified students districtwide. Comparing a similarly aged population of second- to eighth-graders, 96.2 percent of Capo students took the STAR tests. Extending that number through to 11th graders, 96.3 percent of Capo’s students participated.


Oxford Prep  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th  7th  8th Students Enrolled  72  63  54  70  62  33  28 Students Tested  70  56  53  69  60  32  27 % of Enrollment  97.2   88.9   98.1   98.6   96.8   97  100   

CUSD  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th  7th  8th Students Enrolled  3,710  3,874  3,804  3,909  3,957  4,026  3,985 Students Tested  3,674   3,722   3,616   3,731   3,778   3,872   3,822  % of Enrollment  99  96.1  95.1  95.4  95.5  96.2  95.9
enogh already October 24, 2012 at 05:05 AM
@kids first - apparently you slept through your math classes. If you take all students in this scenario who didn't take the test ( 3.7 %) and gave a them a score of 25% correct answers (let's assume they are really poor students) that would only result in a downward shift in overall average scores of 2.4%. Not exactly dramatic and not likely statistically significant. So... if the reported average score was 90 then the adjusted score as outlined above would be 87.8 instead. If you scored the missing students with zero it would only move the average downward 3.7 percentage points. This is a fact that can not be disputed. Math is math and it does not lie.
Rossco November 02, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Did the allegations of cheating occur when the test was taken or more recently when the results were revealed?
Proud Mom November 02, 2012 at 05:22 AM
Though the STAR test was taken in May, the allegations came up right before the official state results were revealed. There were two people who came forward - one was anonymous and the other is supposedly a CUSD employee. The unfortunate result from this witch hunt is that thousands of CUSD dollars have been spent in investigating these lies - monies which could have been better spent on the students of CUSD. In addition, OPA also had to spend money for the third party investigation - money which could have been better spent on OPA's students. After all is said and done, the parents of CUSD should be outraged.
Wrkingmom November 28, 2012 at 05:50 PM
I guess I am confused by the math above and please clarify... If the school enrollment is 620 for this time frame - the # enrolled reported is 382. By my math then the K and 1 enrollment is 238? That seems high when other grade levels are only 54 average? What enrollment numbers are being counted here?
Proud Mom November 28, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Wrkingmom - To answer you question - in the numbers above there were 382 students in 2nd - 8th as you stated . However, last year there were 4 kindergarten classes and 2 first grades - totaling approximately, 192 students, bringing the total to 574. Then you add the IS students which would bring the total even higher. The bottom line is that there were 2 accusations brought forward. One from a CUSD employee and the other anonymously. Pretty suspicious. OPA's investigation concluded that these accusations were false. In addition, even though OPA has requested CUSD's investigation's results, there are still none brought forth. Of course they haven't released the results, because the accusations are untrue. Don't know if you know the history of the last couple of years, but there are many parents who do not want OPA to succeed. They will grasp at straws to have the school close down. If it is not one thing, trust me, they will find another.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »