Steven Singer reviews the panicked reaction of the charter lobby to the report by the NAACP demanding charter accountability and an end to profiteering off the backs of children.

What part of the NAACP was so horrendous and unpalatable to the charteristas?

What is so radical about accountability and transparency?

Shouldn’t local communities have the right to reject for-profit charters? Shouldn’t they have a say in whether a charter opens in their district? At present, charters are foisted onto communities whether they want them or not. That doesn’t seem right.

Charter school cheerleaders like Education Secretary Betsy DeVos call their movement School Choice. Shouldn’t communities get to choose whether they want them there in the first place? If the program is based on the free market, let them make their case to the community before setting up shop. They shouldn’t get to make a backroom deal with your congressman and then start peddling their wares wherever they want.

Moreover, if charter schools are, indeed, public schools, why should they be allowed to operate at a profit? They are supported by tax dollars. That money should go to educating children, not lining the pockets of venture capitalists and hedge fund managers.

The “backroom deal” that Singer refers to is usually not with a congressman, but with the state legislature or the state board or the governor, and it usually is the result of campaign contributions. But why should campaign contributions determine what happens to public schools?