Julie Underwood, dean of the school of education at the University of Wisconsin, has been watching ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and warns that their agenda includes the elimination of local school boards.

School boards are a basic democratic institution. Some 95% are elected. They hire and fire superintendents and set each district’s policy goals. Most people would see them as an expression of local control, a place where citizens may voice their views.

But ALEC has a radical agenda of privatization, and the school boards get in the way. ALEC would like to see more vouchers and charters, and the creation of unelected state boards that can override local decision-making.