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Cheating Investigation Cost OPA 100 Times More than CUSD

Oxford Preparatory Academy and Capo Unified commissioned separate reviews into whether the charter school cheated on standardized tests.

Investigating the cheating allegations that were ultimately determined to be unfounded cost the targeted charter school 100 times more than it did the Capistrano Unified School District.

Both Mission Viejo-based Oxford Preparatory Academy and Capo Unified hired independent investigators to look into accusations that teachers at the charter school cheated to help the students earn high marks on standardized testing.

The students’ scores helped the 1-year-old charter land the highest marks for an elementary school in Orange County.

In the end, both investigators came to the same conclusion: They could not substantiate the allegations.

But OPA paid much more dearly for that third-party review.

“The cost of direct billed expenses to date is approximately $57,835,” said Sue Roche, OPA’s executive director. “This does not include additional time and resources, as well as indirect costs.”

By contract, Capistrano Unified only spent $529.20, said Beverly De Nicola, spokeswoman for the district. That’s because Capo has a $45,000-a-year contract with private investigator T. Davis & Associates of Dana Point.

“T. Davis & Associates do a wide variety of confidential investigations for us, everything from parent complaints to current or former employee investigations, student issues, etc.,” De Nicola said in an email. “In a big district like this, there is always something.”

OC Parent December 15, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Randy as reported by the Patch earlier this week: "Later in the evening, Trustee Anna Bryson said the initial report of the cheating allegations, which were first published in a blog, most likely came from a school board member. “It would have to come from a trustee. We don’t know why,” she said. “It was not done at the request of anyone. We regret it very much.” http://missionviejo.patch.com/articles/cusd-s-contentious-election-season-put-to-rest
randy December 15, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Penny? I think she is a documentation queen. I remember she mentioned about this twice and I thought it was CUSD at first.
Penny Arévalo December 16, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Randy, I don't have documentation on WHO leaked the letter to the OJ Blog. The blog itself only says it came into possession of the letter. It doesn't say from where. The only thing we have is Trustee Bryson's comments. I did not get the letter leaked to me (and had I, I would protect my source). I saw it on the OJ Blog like everyone else and had it authenticated before writing a story about its contents. The letter was from the OPA attorney to CUSD.
Interested December 18, 2012 at 01:33 AM
"You got back what you got back." Really? Is that seriously your answer to this questionable information you were fed? It sounds to me that there is something more going on with CUSD only having spent $529.20 in addition to the $45,000 contract...wait, contract? What district has a contract with an investigator? It is definitely unheard of, legitimately speaking, for a district to have a contracted investigator. It would be wise to dig further into information you are given before simply reporting whatever you just happen to "get back". Thanks.
Capo Parent December 18, 2012 at 09:13 PM
CPToo Responding to a fourth grader is way over your head. Maybe you can handle a preschooler, but not a fourth grader.

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