John Oliver Takes Aim at Ohio Charter Schools

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HBO's Last Week Tonight, hosted by our friend and free-blog-post provider John Oliver, took aim at charter schools Sunday night. Much of the segment focused on Ohio, the Wild, Wild West of America's charters schools. 

From about the 9:00 mark to the 17:00 mark in the 18:00 minute segment, Oliver casts his gaze upon lax Ohio laws, atrocious leadership, and the scourge of for-profit companies treating education like a business.

"Yes, education is first, last and always a business. Take the L off the word learning and what have you got? Earning," said Oliver, mocking Ohio's David Brennan, of the infamous White Hat Management. "Take the E off it and what have you got then? Arning. Yeah, sure, that's not a word, but it could be in one of our English classes."

Oliver didn't mean to suggest charter schools were good or bad — it's obviously a case-by-case situation — but that the manner in which charter schools are monitored and funded must be more closely scrutinized.

Thanks to the Pee Dee's Patrick O'Donnell, whose work was referenced on the segment, for his work on that score.  

After a clip of John Kasich, wherein the Ohio Governor and former presidential candidate sang the praises of charter schools as a competitive tool to improve public schools, Oliver dropped one of his best lines.

"It's a little hard to hear the man who just defunded Planned Parenthood talk about the importance of choice," he said.

Keep preaching, Johnny. Keep preaching.   


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