The Virginia General Assembly is voting today on an ALEC-inspired bill to give the state board of education the power to go over the local boards of education and place charter schools in communities whether they want them or not. Pseudo-reformers don't like democracy. They like autocracy. The American Legislative Exchange Council has drafted model legislation for exactly this kind of shift of power from local communities to the state, the better to advance privatization. Like any model, some charter schools are successful and some aren’t. Some charter schools are true institutions of education, created by parents and educators, while some are real estate scams, developed by hucksters and charlatans. But given that all students are not served as they should be in public schools, I agree that conversations about the merits and disadvantages of charter schools are worth having.