If you subscribe to Peter Greene’s blog Curmudgucation, as you should, you know that Peter can toss off one or two or three fresh, smart posts a day without breaking a sweat. Here is another excellent post, on the subject of Biden’s plans for holding charter schools accountable and why the charter industry finds his plans offensive.

I was in Washington, D.C., in the early 1990s when the charter idea took off. Its advocates (and I was one at the time) said that charter schools would be more accountable and more innovative than public schools. And, even sweeter, they would cost less than public schools. We now know, thirty years later, that none of that turned out to be true. The charter industry believes fervently in deregulation and hates any efforts by states to hold them accountable. They are not more innovative than public schools, unless you consider a “no-excuses” regime of strict rules and rigid enforcement to be “innovative.” The charter industry continually complains that they are not given as much money as public schools, even when they are given more, so cost-efficiency is not one of their strong points.

Greene explains here that the charter industry is angry that Biden wants to hold them accountable. They are furious that Biden might want them to be supervised by an elected board. The same accountability that public schools experience is anathema to charter advocates. They would be “hamstrung” and “paralyzed” by oversight and supervision.

Shouldn’t public money be accompanied by public accountability? If not, why not?