A few years ago, I “debated” Jonathan Alter on a Denver radio show but soon realized that I had entered a zone where facts were irrelevant because Alter’s mind was made up. He loves charter schools. He thinks testing and accountability are the answer to the deep problems of education. He is contemptuous of public schools and the teachers who work in them. He thinks that unions exist to protect failed teachers.

Jersey Jazzman, who is completing a Ph.D. In education research, tries here to set Alter right. It is a hopeless task, in sorry to say. Alter has a deep ideological devotion to charter schools, and he won’t listen to data about attrition or how many kids with special needs are excluded from them.

But I’m glad that JJ has the will to try.