Saturday, August 27, 2016

Public education activist Diane Ravitch says that John Oliver is being harassed over his expose on charter schools.

I am going to share Ravitch's post in its entirety since she really wants everybody to see it: 

As readers of this blog know, deregulation of charters leads to fraud, graft, and abuse. On this site, I have documented scores of examples of fraudsters and grifters who take advantage of weak (or no) oversight to enrich themselves and to strand children in bad schools. 

A few days ago, John Oliver ran an excellent segment about charter schools and the fraud associated with them. He barely scratched the surface. Charter supporters are furious and are saying that he “hurt” children, he savaged children, etc. (This is a familiar tactic; when I criticized the improbable test scores in New York City almost a decade ago, I was told that I was “hurting children and their teachers” by questioning the validity of the dramatic rise in scores.) 

Fraud is a feature of deregulation, not a bug. When no one is looking, some people steal. Not everyone steals, but many do. That is why Ohio, Florida, Michigan, and California are scamming taxpayers. No one is demanding accountability. Politicians get paid off by charter friends, then cripple any effort to oversee them Ohio and Michigan spend $1 billion a year to subsidize charter schools, which are lower-performing than public schools. 

The corporate reformers and privatizers are bombarding John Oliver with tweets and messages attacking his show. 

Please let him know you support him. 

Please take the time to contact John Oliver by writing him at 

And tweet him @iamjohnoliver. 

Don’t let the charter industry intimidate him.

I did not realize that Oliver was receiving such blowback, though to be honest I probably should have.

I have already sent my tweet in support of his work and I encourage you to do the same.

John Oliver is doing the work that many journalists are just not doing, so he needs to know that what he does is both necessary and appreciated.

For those who may have somehow missed this segment on charter schools, here you go.

Yeah, I see how that could have panicked the private charter school folks.

And that is a good thing.


  1. Anonymous6:34 AM

    Yes. We must stop taxpayer vouchers to private schools. This is the worst thing. Our public schools must receive all public funds. Stop vouchers to private school. If you want your kid in private schools? YOU PAY for it yourself. period.

  2. Separation of church and state.
    THAT'S why charter schools shouldn't get vouchers! They take money away from the schools and children that need it. If they want to teach their children religion and home school them. Great, but either on their own dime or their church pays. But NOT with our tax payers money!

    1. Anonymous9:37 AM

      Jaqueline and 6:34. Charters and vouchers are two different things. Only LA and IN have vouchers. Charters are public schools that are not under the "regular" public school system, but are publicly supported. Vouchers are payments to parents who can then choose any accredited school to go to. Religious schools included. They are Unconstitutional as they force taxpayers to support religion.

  3. Anonymous7:12 AM

    One error. California does have over-sight and because of that, we have some (not all) great charter schools. I am a public school teacher and supporter, but I have to say that the charter school in our town is wonderful. However, the state was ready to step in and take over because of low scores and poor management. When the board took action, changed principals and curriculum improved, the school took off academically. Not only does the state require them to meet the same standards as the public schools, school districts tend to keep a close eye on their progress as well because they are competition. It is a fight for resources, so the competition is a good thing and keeps everyone on their toes.

  4. Anonymous7:13 AM

    Charter schools, at least in California, are not private and do not need vouchers. They are public.

  5. Anonymous7:19 AM

    OT-FYI"A trial for the remaining 17 defendants, including Bundy, is scheduled to begin in February. "conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States.In March, one of them-DeLemus was named an alternate delegate for businessman Donald Trump at the Republican national convention. He was co-chair of a New Hampshire Veterans for Trump coalition.

    1. Anonymous7:24 AM

      Buddy Bully>

    2. Anonymous7:32 AM

      Good! Let 'em sit even longer.

    3. Anonymous8:34 AM

      "“You shoot the enemy. You try to identify the enemy. And the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in are people of color or people of Hispanic origin.”

  6. WA Skeptic7:34 AM

    Hey, Gryphen; tried to contact Mr Oliver via the mail address, doesn't seem to be valid. Any suggestions?

    And yes, charter schools are a scam. They came into being in the '60s when southern schools were desegregated and white parents didn't want their kids going to school with black kids. They got really tired of paying for private schools when public schools were funded by their taxes, so they started pushing to get their kids education paid for without having to send them to desegregated schools. Now we all pay for this bigotry.

  7. Coming from a long line of educators, I could not agree more.
    I just made sure I let John Oliver know he is target on. I sure hope that everyone who reads this cares enough to do the same.

  8. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Like I stated before Grypen, I almost never watch tv to get my news. Can't trust it after lyin' Brain. I personally believe comedians like Oliver, Meyer, Colbert, and Maher are the barometers of what's really going on. And blogs like this offer a good forum for discussion even with the trolls.

  9. Anonymous9:27 AM

    So they're going to bully him off the airwaves ala Martin Bashir?

    Speaking of which, kinda OT, can someone explain to me why Keith Olbermann was booted off MSNBC for donating to a political candidate, yet Sean Hannity keeps his job while advising dRUMPf?

    We all know why.

  10. Anonymous9:38 AM

    I've always thought that fundamentally, trying to profit from places like schools, hospitals, and prisons is just plain wrong. They can't be run like businesses because they could cost lives or futures if they are poorly managed. Making a living working at a school is fine, but running a business like the one mentioned in the video is NOT okay.

  11. Anonymous4:48 PM

    Charter Schools are part of why we're losing fantastic Public School Teachers. You can't run a Public School like a business and treat Educators as mere babysitters and form fillers.

    1. Anonymous11:35 PM

      They're planning on replacing teachers with computers and then just having minimum wage workers walk around keeping the students on task.


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