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Charter school community comes out swinging against John Oliver

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Charter school community comes out swinging against John Oliver

WATCH  | Charter community speaks out against John Oliver's show.

"Back off my charter school!"

Charter school officials have launched a $100,000 cash prize video contest called "Hey John Oliver, Back Off My Charter School!" Hundreds of charter schools have submitted entries. 

The competition is in response to an episode of 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.'  Jeanne Allen is the founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform.  She said Oliver "used examples of a few poorly run schools to paint all charters, and the whole concept of charter schools, as failures."

Charters: some good & some not-so-good

During the segment, Oliver did not take a personal stance on charters schools, and pointed out that there are charter success stories.  He cited the Kipp charter network as an example.

But Oliver did reveal instances of embezzlement and questionable attendance practices with some online schools. He went on to show what appears to be an apparent lack of oversight and regulation with charter schools in some states. 

However, Dr. Jay Greene from Arkansas University says there is no significant difference between public and charter schools when it comes to certain levels of misconduct. "One of the most common ways of measuring school success is test scores, but this can often be misleading," said Greene.

But there is evidence that charter graduates do well later in life. One of the most extensive studies on student achievement in Florida shows that charter students experience higher wage earnings once they reach their mid-20s.

Charter Schools: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

WATCH | Here is John Oliver's full segment on charter schools.

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