Friday, April 23, 2010

Kangaroo Court

Anyone who was hoping for a calm, reasoned debate on the role and future of charter schools in New York at yesterday's state senate hearing on the topic was pretty disappointed. As the Daily News writes: "Charter school supporters and their critics spent eight hours shouting at one another at a volatile public hearing Thursday - and left the battle more polarized than ever."

Of course, anyone expecting a calm, reasoned debate about charter schools yesterday hasn't been reading the Post lately.

The Post was correct in today's article (it surprised me too) where they describe the hearing as a kangaroo court. That's exactly what it was and both sides of the debate are to blame. Something about charter schools seems to have removed a reasonable middle ground and left only the extremists to pontificate and/or rant (depending on their mood). There's a real debate to be had here and it's a shame that it's being hijacked by shouting and accusations of personal impropriety (Sen. Perkins takes money from the UFT/Sen. Johnson takes money from charter schools).

It's always easier to yell and scream and chant than to make good points and come to a reasonable consensus. It's too bad that so many people are falling into that temptation.

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