TribBlog: Oprah Gives $1M to Houston Charter

Oprah Winfrey will give the YES Prep charter school network $1 million today. She will present the gift on this afternoon's epsiode of her show, which explores the documentary film Waiting for Superman, according to a YES Prep press release.

Oprah Winfrey will give the YES Prep charter school network $1 million today. She will present the gift on this afternoon's episode of her show, which explores the documentary film Waiting for Superman, according to a YES Prep press release.

Directed by Davis Guggenheim — whose credits include An Inconvenient Truth and the TV shows NYPD Blue, 24 and Deadwood — the film explores the harsh struggle of low-income parents to gain admission to the nation’s highest performing-charter schools, which rests on a lottery. YES Prep, which runs eight charter schools in Houston and has won praise for boosting achievement, plans to use the money to continue its rapid growth toward serving 10,000 students, according to the release.

“The $1 million gift from Oprah is not only a great recognition of the work we are doing to close the achievement gap between low-income and high-income students, but it also helps us open more schools, serve more kids on our waitlist, and take another step closer to the day when every kid in Houston has access to a first-class college-preparatory education,” says YES Prep CEP Chris Barbic in the press release.

Barbic will appear on the show along with teacher Melanie Singleton. Other guests include Guggenheim, Bill Gates — whose foundation has poured millions in to charter schools — Washington, D.C., Education Chancellor Michelle Rhee and musician John Legend, according to the release.

 

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