I'm not entirely sure why libertarians seem so enamored of the charter school idea. I see the CIS is pushing it, as is Rupert Murdoch*, and of course Catallaxy has the CIS Youtube up which (perhaps unluckily) gives the impression from the frozen initial image that it's all about training young men to be the paramilitary libertarians of the future. (Libertarians who got there via Starship Troopers tend to get excited by the idea of a righteous military dispensing justice throughout the universe, I reckon.)
I thought that the achievements of this movement was decidedly mixed; it anything, I thought the initial enthusiasm for them had become somewhat tempered.
But as I'm sure I've said before, modern education seems a field particularly prone to fadish ideas as to what works and what doesn't. I tend to think that the silliest ideas did come from the Left side in the 70's, but have been debunked and are no longer influential.
I guess the libertarian/small government obsession with market competition alone makes them love the idea of charter schools just on principle, I think. (That and a hatred of State school teachers more often than not leaning Left.) Yet a recent story on 7.30 indicated that there is scope for very different approaches within the public school system.
I would have thought that society is better served by improving all schools via such discretion within the public system. I doubt you need a charter school system at all. (I don't think they played any role in Finland's much lauded school system, did they?)
* who tweets this morning: "School choice vastly improves education, thus liberating all families
and forever eliminates "victim" excuse. Only one enemy teacher unions"