Ten Charter Schools Reach The Finals in The Center for Education Reform's "Hey John Oliver, Back Off My Charter School!" Contest

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Videos reveal how much charter schools mean to kids, families and communities. Winner to be announced on November 14th.

Ten charter schools from across the country have been named finalists in the Center for Education Reform's sponsored “Hey John Oliver, Back Off My Charter School!” video contest.

The top ten finalists are:
-Gary Comer College Prep - Chicago, IL
-Indian River Charter High School - Vero Beach, FL
-Inlet Grove Community High School - Riviera Beach, FL
-Natomas Charter School - Sacramento, CA
-Purpose Preparatory Academy Charter School - Nashville, TN
-Rising Leaders Academy - Panama City, FL
-Science and Tech Academy at Knights Landing - Knights Landing, CA
-SLAM Academy - Miami, FL
-Southland College Prep Charter High School - Richton Park, IL
-STRIVE Prep-Smart Academy - Denver, CO

The contest was launched by The Center for Education Reform (CER) in August in response to a segment of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, hosted by comedian John Oliver, which painted a scathing and untrue portrait of America’s charter schools.

“As we said then, Mr. Oliver could have focused on the great work being done by charters all across the country, or on the thousands of individual success stories charters have helped write,” said CER Founder & CEO Jeanne Allen. “But instead, he criticized the very idea of charter schools in every way he could, setting off a negative media frenzy and arming opponents with a bevy of distorted characterizations they could use to oppose charter school cap lifts, and spur calls for moratoriums on charter schools.”

“To bring some balance to his ‘report’ we asked schools, parents, teachers and students to produce a short video showing why they chose to attend their charter school, and why innovative and diverse schools can better serve the needs of students and communities. The results of the contest are extraordinary. Once you see the video content and hear the messages, you really understand how much these schools mean to kids, their families and communities.”

CER received 250 video entries from 32 states across the country. The videos were judged on creativity, originality, message, and impact.

The winner of the contest will be announced on November 14th, so as not to be overshadowed by the elections, and will receive a $100,000 donation prize.

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Michelle Tigani
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