Gene V. Glass of Arizona State University is one of the nation’s top education researchers. He has recently watched the proliferation of charter schools in Arizona, which is often called “the Wild West” of the charter movement. Deregulation means that laws prohibiting nepotism and conflicts of interest don’t apply to charter schools. Self-dealing is okay. For-profit charters can’t be audited because they are “private corporations.”

Now Glass finds a new phenomenon: when a private school couldn’t attract enrollment, and its finances were in bad shape, it converted to being a charter. No tuition. All paid by the public. The free market failed, says Professor Glass,and crony capitalism came to the rescue.