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Abstract

By examining the history of special education law against the emergence of the for-profit and online education movements, this paper explores the charter school movement from a consumer law perspective. It aims to explain why much of the current debate over test scores, "accountability," and teacher evaluation obscures other systemic fault lines that implicate the very reasons we have a public education system in the first place. In turn, the goal is to suggest solutions to some fundamental questions: in the twenty-first century, do we still need a public education system? What are our collective responsibilities to students? What does a quality education mean, and how do we maintain access to it?