Jeff Bryant notes the escalating scandals surrounding the charter industry, creating a stench that can’t be covered up and hidden.

Yet the charter industry refuses to acknowledge its problems and act to correct them and to oust the bad actors from its big tent.

Case in point: when the Network for Public Education released a study of the federal Charter Schools Program which showed that about one-third of all federally-funded charters had never opened or had closed soon after opening, at a cost of taxpayers of $1 billion, the charter industry was at first silent. Then it responded by attacking the report and NPE, claiming that NPE was “union-funded,” which it is not. NPE has indeed received contributions from unions, but the overwhelming bulk of its funding comes as voluntary gifts from individual supporters.

The attack came from paid employees of the National Alliance for Public [sic] Charter Schools, whose job seems to be to deny any charter misdeeds and to attack all critics and criticism. They were outraged that NPE would criticize the federal Charter Schools Program, which under Betsy DeVos has directed the bulk of its $440 million a year to support of large corporate chains like KIPP, IDEA, and Success Academy. It is now a charter slush fund, controlled by DeVos and her merry band of privatizers.

Bryant, who was a co-author of the NPE report with Carol Burris, writes:

As charter reform in California takes one step forward and two steps back, charter proponents operating at the national level show no signs of being willing to consider the need for more regulatory oversight.

For instance, months after the report Burris and I published about waste in the federal government’s charter school grant program, officials from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, a charter school lobbyist and advocacy group, attacked our report in a national media outlet supportive of charter schools.

The critique by Christy Wolfe and Nathan Barrett is a slog through a mostly unsubstantiated defense of a program their organization does not even administer and does not seem to have any greater understanding of than Burris and I’ve demonstrated. But what Wolfe and Barrett have written can serve as a useful example of how charter industry operatives continue to respond disingenuously to criticism of their schools no matter how reasonable and well-founded the criticism is.

Now, why would the National Alliance for Public [sic] Charter Schools respond so defensively to any criticism of the federal Charter Schools Program?

Surely it can’t be because the NAPCS received a grant of $2.385 million from that same program in 2018.

The charter slush fund must be protected at all costs, regardless of where the money goes or how it is spent and misspent. Accountability be damned!