OAKLAND — The University Preparatory Charter Academy offers an innovative academic program, but if it doesn't overhaul its governing board and ensure future tests are properly administered, it won't exist after Aug. 24, Oakland school district staff said in a report released Wednesday.
The report details numerous ways in which the East Oakland school known as Uprep violated state law as well as its charter agreement with the school district.
Among the problems cited in the report are infrequent and undocumented board meetings and a general lack of oversight of the school's curriculum, leadership or finances. Staff noted the state department of education has twice invalidated the school's test scores because of "adult testing irregularities" such as suspicious erasures and the illegal use of 2005 test booklets to prepare students for exams.
The report also referred to a pending investigation into "possible fraud, misappropriation and/or abuse of funds on the part of Uprep." It said staff would request additional records for a review.
Troy Flint, the district's spokesman, said he couldn't provide more details about the nature of the inquiry. But, he said, "it's not a fishing expedition. There have been allegations."
This isn't the first time Uprep has received a warning notice from the Oakland school district. Just last year, the school's leadership persuaded district staff — including Liane Zimny, Uprep's new interim director — to keep it open.
The most recent report dryly refers to the school's previous plans for improving itself. It notes the apparent cheating documented by the state department of education in 2006 and 2007 occurred after Uprep hired a testing director — a staff change made in response to the district's concerns the school wasn't testing many of its students. . . .
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
. . .a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have a stronger relationship to achievement than do all the “school” factors together, is the extent to which an individual feels that he has some control over his own destiny. James Coleman, 1966
Friday, July 20, 2007
Uprep Charter Cheat Update
From the Oakland Tribune: