This is a fascinating bit of history.

This short article tells the story of one day in 1993 when Michigan eliminated all funding for public schools and started the system that exists today. The new system was the work of Governor John Engler, a staunch advocate of school choice.

Looking back 21 years, it is hard to conclude that Michigan’s choice system has improved education. Districts continue to go bankrupt. Charters have proliferated, mostly unsupervised. About 80% of the state’s charters operate for-profit. Only 11% are not operated by an EMO. Entire districts have been turned over to for-profit management corporations; in Muskegon Heights, the charter corporation didn’t make a profit, ran a deficit, and its contract was canceled.

The original promise of charters was that they would get freedom from regulations in return for heightened accountability. Where’s the accountability?