Politicians and charter lobbyists recite the claim that thousands of students are wait-listed for charter schools. They say we must open more charters at once to satisfy the demand for charter seats. The seats, we are told, are “high performing” seats, as if a seat had some magic to transfer to whoever might sit in it.

A blogger called Public School Mama describes her experience with the charter school “wait list” in Boston.

She really needed to put her son into kindergarten. She applied to a local charter school. She applied to the neighborhood public school. The charter school never called. The neighborhood public school told her that her son was accepted. She was happy with the public school. She liked the teachers. No complaints.

Years later, she got a call from the charter school informing her that her child had been accepted. She realized that all those years, his name had never been removed from the wait list. And she understood that the “wait list” was a political chimera.