Students’ compelling stories tell John Oliver – and the world – the value of charter schools
WASHINGTON, DC — The Center for Education Reform (CER) announced today that it has received entries from more than 250 charter schools telling John Oliver via video “to back off my charter school.”
“The response has been fantastic,” said CER’s founder and CEO Jeanne Allen. “The videos are wonderful in conveying just how valuable charter schools are to communities and how they are helping students perform better than they would in a traditional school.”
CER launched the “Hey John Oliver! Back Off My Charter School!” Video Contest in direct response to an episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, in which Oliver presented a highly critical, and hugely unbalanced, critique of America’s charter schools and charter school movement.
“We could have written a letter of complaint signed by a few hundred people and told John Oliver why his ‘report’ was unfair. But then we thought ‘Why not let him hear directly from the schools themselves – in their own words, voices and images?’ It’s a high-tech ‘out of the mouths of babes’ approach to correcting the public record,” Allen said.
CER will be impaneling a group of independent judges who are passionate about bringing opportunity to students to determine the competition’s winner and recipient of its $100,000 prize. Videos will be evaluated on their messaging, creativity, video quality, and how well they convey distinguishing features of the charter school experience. A winner will be selected by the end of October, and all videos will be posted to CER’s web site.
“Not to sound cliché, but they’re all winners,” Allen said. “All the videos are great and everyone who participated – parents, educators, students, school leaders – all did a marvelous job in letting the public know just how important charter schools are.”
About the Center for Education Reform
Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that the conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education.