Podcast Review: Intelligence Squared Debate on Charter Schools

You can watch or listen to this debate here.

  • The motion up for debate was, Charter Schools Are Overrated.
  • My first question was, overrated by whom? The general public? Educators? Politicians?
  • Given the motion, it’s odd that neither the moderators nor the debaters said anything at all about perceptions of charter schools by anyone.
  • Neither side made very compelling arguments.
  • The debaters couldn’t make up their minds about how to treat the research data. One minute they’re citing studies, the next minute they’re claiming “we can make the data say anything we want,” and the next they’re saying that they can’t get into the data because it’s too complicated for the format of the debate.
  • What’s the debate about then?
  • Neither side entertained the idea that maybe charter schools are working well in some areas and not in others. In a country of 325 million people spread over 3.7 million square miles, maybe there isn’t one answer that applies to all of them.