|It can happen|
So let me mark this occasion on which I not only agree with part of what Finn has written, but would gladly written it myself. Finn first sums up the notion that "the market will provide all the quality control that’s necessary. Quality is in the eye of the beholder, i.e., the parent—and the school operator. The heck with school outcomes." And then he unloads this paragraph:
This is idiocy. It’s also entirely unrealistic in the ESSA era. It arises from the view—long since dismissed by every respectable economist—that education is a private good and the public has no interest in an educated citizenry. Once you conclude that education is also a public good—one whose results bear powerfully on our prosperity, our safety, our culture, our governance, and our civic life—you have to recognize that voters and taxpayers have a compelling interest in whether kids are learning what they should, at least in schools that call themselves “public.”
Mind you, Checker is still a charter fan, and he still imagines that modern Big Standardized Tests are not terrible. But at least he's figured out that unregulated charters aren't really working:
Are these folks really prepared to just hand out charters after a cursory screening? And just trust unproven people with our taxpayer dollars and our kids—after all that we've seen in Ohio and elsewhere, despite all that we know about greedy and sometimes criminal behavior in the charter space, despite mounting evidence of for-profit operators opting for shareholders over schoolchildren?
Granted, all of this was just about as surprising as the rising of the sun, but still, he's seeing it.
So Finn and I still disagree on a big pile of stuff, including what accountability should look like. But at least he supports the increasingly-unpopular idea of actually holding schools accountable for how they use taxpayer dollars instead of chiming in with "The money belongs to the students so just shut up.". But if Allen's goal was to wrap the charter movement in a big re-unitey kum-bah-yah-- well, that's not happening today.