I was just running around doing school-related work after school today (it's a cushy job, dontcha know), and forced myself to listen to the Jersey Guys discuss charter schools on 101.5.
Do people really believe that talk radio keeps them informed? How is it possible that one guy (the other guy pretty much does the weather and says "good point" while the the first guy does a bad Howard Stern imitation) could know so much about so many topics?
Wouldn't it be a good idea to have on a couple of folks who study education issues to talk about this? Or are talk radio hosts really as arrogant as they appear? Do they really think they know about charter schools because they read a few newspapers?
Because this guy couldn't have been more clueless. No, charters don't out-perform neighborhood schools - not when you account for student populations. And there are many charters that just fail outright. No, it doesn't cost the same amount to educate every child; that's why "skimming the cream" into charters makes it more expensive for neighborhood schools to educate their remaining students. No, that school on 60 Minutes doesn't outperform neighborhood schools - the report itself said so, and the principal himself admitted it. No, NJ schools are not failures; not by a very long shot.
And, no, The Cartel is not a serious documentary; it is a pathetic joke.
At one point, a caller and the host went on for a bit about parents "having options" and "being good consumers."
I'd hasten to add that media consumers should follow that advice as well.