Controversy exposes folly of charter-mania

But isn't it taught in the public schools, where Beyah served for several years as a mentor?

"They give misdirection, misinformation and in some cases downright lies," says Beyah. "The city schools don't give African-American children a clear view of their history, the county schools don't and schools all over the country don't. We're going to do that, along with giving a strong emphasis on the social aspect of the community and providing vocational education."

Beyah says he's had nothing but support from the families of his enrolled students since the Post bombshell dropped, and that he even has a waiting list of 100 more who want to attend. About all that can stop him in is the school board's lawsuit claiming the school is discriminatory and unfit, among other things.

I don't know how that will turn out, but I do know this: If someone on the other side of town was receiving public funding with an emphasis of similar ethnic intensity, everyone would be howling. And they'd be right.

Beyah's ideas, at least as he expressed them to me, would be perfectly fine and appropriate for a private school, but not for a public one. About as much can be said about his background.

But don't blame Beyah for the charter-school mess. This is what you asked for, charter-school fans, and this is what you get.

Next time, try rules.

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