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Yass to Oliver: Your Show Hurt Poor Children!!!

A Letter to John Oliver from Boys’ Latin Charter School Co-Founder Janine Yass:

I have been an avid fan of yours for quite some time now and have come close to laughing so hard during your program that I start to cry. But last night I watched your rant about charter schools and found myself crying, not because of your humor, but for the thousands of families who will have to pay for your ignorance and insensitivity toward the education of their children.

I have been involved in education reform for over 15 years in the poor city of Philadelphia where over 40,000 children are on charter school waiting lists to escape the horrendous public school system. In Philly, if you do not have the means to either pay for private school, test into a magnet school, or be accepted at a charter school, the chance of graduating high school in four years on grade level is less than 40 percent. Unfortunately, the vast majority of kids cannot afford private schools or test into magnet schools.


As a founder of Boys’ Latin Charter School, I have seen the desperation of parents and their tearful gratitude for giving their boys the kind of education that I believe is a civil right. We are proud of our results and are proud supporters of many high quality charters. Yes, bad ones should close, but what about the bad public schools that continue to operate half full with no teaching going on?!

No one is forcing parents to go to charters! Charter operators are responding to the demand of dissatisfied parents who have been underserved by the public system for decades. They are not the evil corporate devils you made them out to be. I live for

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McCarthy to Oliver: Make It Right

A Letter to John Oliver from Appletree Charter Schools Founder Jack McCarthy:

I’m a fan of the show and I thought your report on charter schools was devastating. It would also be reasonable for your team to report on the ineptitude, corruption and self-dealing that takes place in public schools that operate under the district governance and finance model. That is, after all, what led to the creation of charter schools in the first place.

Jack-McCarthy-AppleTreeYou may not be aware — in this year of grotesque, daily, pathological lying at the highest levels of our political discourse — how your report is being used as a cudgel against thousands of courageous, mission-driven educators dedicated to improving the lives and outcomes of our most disadvantaged children. Their work is hard enough. It doesn’t have to be disparaged further in such a ham-handed, easily-manipulated fashion.

Have your staff explore how your report is being used in a nation-wide war against charter schools. If this is what you intended, then I’m not a fan any longer. If this is not what you intended, make it right.

I hope you will take the opportunity to examine the ineptitude, corruption and self-dealing of some of the leaders of the AFT and NEA.

In Washington, DC, several years ago, the leader of the Washington Teachers Union was sent to jail for stealing members’ dues, as detailed in this Washington Post report. There is a robust amount of material to work with. Don’t limit it to charters because most are making a tremendous difference in the lives of children. The ones that don’t, close. And that’s a good thing.

Jack McCarthy
President and CEO of Appletree Early Learning Public Charter School

Jack McCarthy is a pioneer in the charter school

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21 Tweets on Why John Oliver’s Take on Charter Schools is No Laughing Matter

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