Monday, September 5, 2016

John Oliver's Last Week Tonight charter school clip spurs $100000 contest

John Oliver's Last Week Tonight charter school clip spurs $100000 contest:

John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight charter school clip spurs $100000 contest

A pro-charter school group launches a $100,000 video contest to rebut John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight segment.

Add charter school advocates to the growing list of groups that John Oliver has managed to anger during his time as host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight. His recent segment exposing how some charter schools across the country are poorly managed has led a nonprofit pro-charter organization to offer $100,000 to the school that creates the best video rebuttal to Oliver’s nearly 20-minute tirade.
The Washington D.C.-based Center for Education Reform recently posted what they’ve dubbed as the “Hey John Oliver! Back Off My Charter School!” contest to its website. In a post titled “Wait … who said what about what?,” the organization characterizes Oliver’s rant as a “propaganda piece against charters everywhere,” describing it as a “very unfair, unfortunate, unbalanced, unwarranted and generally unhinged tirade against charter schools.” It also decries the fact that the segment has been viewed by 5 million people, and claims that Oliver’s argument boils down to the idea that since some charter schools have been mismanaged, all charters are bad.
However, in the introduction to the piece, Oliver went out of his way to state that he’s not against the idea of charter schools as a whole, but he was simply highlighting some of the bad ones that need reforming. He went on to explore some of the problems that exists within system. In some states such as Ohio, the privately operated schools have very little regulations and oversight despite the fact that they’re publicly funded, resulting in a mismanagement of taxpayer funds and illegal activity in certain cases, leading Oliver to conclude that it demonstrates one of the problems with running public education institutions as businesses where you allow the free market to decide which schools remain open.
The rules for CER’s competition state that the $100,000 prize is only open to charter schools that submit a video using a smartphone or tablet that runs three minutes or less before the deadline of Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2016. It also encourages prospective participants to “help set the record straight and let people know how much charter schools are helping their children, families, teachers and communities.” All of the entries will be posted online after being reviewed by a panel of judges who will decide which school receives the money, which will come from program funds that are raised from among their more than 1,000 donors, including Bill and Melinda Gates.
Watch the original segment in its entirety below:
The reaction comes on the heels of Oliver’s Last Week Tonight clip on the state of the newspaper industry also getting a strongly negative response from the head of the Newspaper Association of America just last month. His reach and influence was also seen after a kids’ book that he recently referenced in a segment regarding Donald Trump’s candidacy received a substantial sales boost on Amazon, leading the New York Post to compare him to Oprah Winfrey and her former book club.
Last Week Tonight is currently on hiatus, but the show continues to post web exclusive clips to its YouTube account, including a recent segment where the host pitched his own superhero movie after complaining about the genre. The series returns on Sunday, September 25 at 11 p.m. on HBO.John Oliver's Last Week Tonight charter school clip spurs $100000 contest:

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