ACCORDING to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, " accountable" means "required to be responsible for something." Let's apply this definition to state Senator Williams' fervent support for SB 1085, which seeks to hold charter schools accountable. This bill allows any institution of higher learning with students in the state of Pennsylvania to authorize a charter school anywhere in Pennsylvania.

This means that, for instance, the University of Phoenix, an online institution, could authorize a charter school in Philadelphia. How would this authorizer be held accountable by a parent?

How would a student being counseled out of this charter school be able to deal with his situation if the authorizer is not even located in the state?

The beleaguered School District charter office oversees over 80 charter schools with, depending upon the day, two or three staff. How can they hold the locally-based charter operators accountable when they are so understaffed? SB 1085 would open up a Pandora's box of problems by allowing non-locally-based institutions to open schools.

Where is the accountability in this scheme? Where is local control?

Karel Kilimnik

Philadelphia