Max Brantley is a fearless columnist in Arkansas who dares to disagree with the Waltons in their home state. Yes, there are such reporters who are unafraid to speak truth to the monied power that owns their state.

In this column, Brantley describes the latest ploy by the charter industry: They are opening charters that implicitly will serve as havens for white families that do not want their children to attend majority-black schools in Arkansas.

Brantley writes:

Then there’s Quest, to be run by a Texas private organization faulted in a national study by a charter school-friendly research outfit at Stanford for its poor performance with lower-end students. Not that those kind of students are really anticipated in western Little Rock. There’ll be a lottery for admission if demand exceeds seats, but with a pittance budget for transportation it will be a miracle if it doesn’t reflect the higher incomes and lower black percentages of the neighborhood elementaries potential Quest parents now attend. They don’t want to go to majority black/poor nearby middle schools with lagging test scores. Some are improving, Forest Heights, particularly, and there are plans to make it an academic magnet, but it’s a risk the parents are reluctant to take. Too bad, because it’s project-oriented model sounds truly innovative.

Innovation? Look at Quest’s application. It’s full of meaningless education-speak gobbledygook. It promises to “feel like a private school,” but be free. I think you and I both know what “feels like a private school” means. The application also says bluntly that, since the Little Rock deseg case is over, neither they nor the state needworry one bit about whether the kids they draw from the Little Rock school district  will add to segregation there or create a segregated publicly financed school surrounded by the dregs of truly public education.

Sixty years after the controversial Brown v. Board of Education, the charter industry has found a way to render it moot. Remember, it’s all for the children. That is, for some children.