The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General issued a stinging audit, showing a near absence of oversight of charter school spending in the three states studied: Florida, Arizona, and California. On the same day, the California charter schools association celebrated another big expansion of the charter sector in that state. There are now more than 1,000 charter schools with nearly half a million students in them, and the state department of education lacks the staff to monitor them. Some of the schools never open; some open and close within a year or two. Some pay outrageous executive salaries.

The main focus of the audit was the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation, which awarded over $1 billion to spur the growth of charter schools. It is headed by James Shelton, formerly of Edison Schools, McKinsey, the NewSchools Venture Fund and the Gates Foundation. He is an avid proponent of charter schools.

Expecting Shelton to monitor the growth and oversight of charter schools is like calling out the fox who is guarding the hen house and expecting him to be more vigilant. His job is to increase their number, not to monitor their quality.

Please pay attention, folks. The U.S. Department of Education is doing whatever it can to spur competition in the education sector by funding entrepreneurs, Gulen schools, no-excuses schools, and anyone who wants some federal money to go into business with no regard to quality, longevity or soundness.