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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.

Sincerely,
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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Black Lives Matter, NAACP Call for Moratorium on Charter Schools is “Inexplicable”

Indeed, paying attention to data and facts is important. But when data and facts are one-sided and lack the bigger picture, it does an injustice to those trying to become educated about an issue.

When it comes to charter schools, there’s still much work to be done when it comes to getting out the facts and truly educating the public.

Take the Black Lives Matter and the NAACP call for a moratorium on charter schools, for example.

“Can’t understand why the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Movement for Black Lives have issued proclamations opposing the expansion of school choice and Parent Power for the very black families for which they proclaim to care?,” writes RiShawn Biddle of Dropout Nation. “The answer can be found in the annual financial statements of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, the nation’s two largest teachers’ unions.”

Black leaders nationwide are pushing back against moratoriums and proclamations against charter school expansion.

“The fact that the NAACP wants a national moratorium on charter schools, many of which offer a high-quality education to low-income and working-class black children, is inexplicable,” Jaqueline Cooper, president of the Black Alliance for Educational Options told the Washington Examiner.

Data reveals black students in public charter schools gain an equivalent of 36 learning days a year in math and 26 in reading respectively. And the learning gains are even higher for poor minority students.

In Massachusetts, where there’s a debate about expanding charter school learning opportunities to meet the demand of more than 32,000 on wait lists, charter schools have been an important part of education, offering choice and opportunity for children especially in low-income areas. Massachusetts charter schools are among the highest performing in the nation, and serve 31 percent more Black

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