Everyone suffers when policy debate focuses on the extremes. We can’t get far when one side claims that schools are entirely to blame for the achievement gap, and the other side claims that the achievement gap is entirely caused by factors beyond the schools’ control. A more constructive debate would start from a more balanced premise, i.e., that school improvement is possible and can get good results, but that extra-school factors are also important. That would leave plenty of room for argument, and it would be about options and evidence.
Sometimes I fear that Monty Python set the pattern for arguments about education policy.