EduShyster knows the answer: A popular suburban charter school in Massachusetts called the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School. This is a school that was created by a group of friends and families that wanted the equivalent of a private school at public school prices. It makes up its own rules. It has very high test scores. And the state has received scores of complaints about the school.

She writes:

So what were parents complaining about?

Special education services, denial of;

English Language Learners, complete lack of;

Teachers, high turnover of;

Property all over Malden, snapping up of (in cash, which seems, um, kind of strange);

Open meeting laws, ignoring of;

Friends and family of founders, hiring of/preferential treatment of;

Admissions lottery, odds-defying nature of, especially when concerning founders, friends and family of;

Communication with board, difficulty of;

Spending priorities, nature of (see $12 million athletic facility, building of)

Student club and athletic team fees, high cost of;

Day-to-day management of the school, interference in

Parents and students who complained, repercussions against, nudging towards door of

In which we pause briefly to consider one downside of the charter model

Let’s pause here briefly to consider why these parents have been deluging state officials with their complaints. You see, because charter schools are autonomous, overseen by their hand-picked boards, parents who have issues with the school and its management have no choice but to bring their complaints to the friends-and-family-esque Board of Directors. Which can be *awkward,* not to mention difficult, because of the board’s penchant for conducting much of its business out of view of the public. The state, meanwhile, doesn’t have much leverage either. While it can step in when the law is being broken or non-complied with, there is no statutory penalty for what might best be described as *dick-ish-ness.* Add in the fact that Mystic Valley is awash in the very treasure that the state most treasures these days—high MCAS scores and a long wait list—and, well, you see where this is not going. As for those unhappy parents, they have a choice: suck it up or *vote with their feet.*

The founders treat the school as their private school, funded by taxpayers. No one cares about the complaints of parents or teachers. The state provides no supervision. What will happen if the charter cap is lifted and more such publically funded, unaccountable, elite charters pop up?