The same universe as what? My argument doesn't rest on some idea of the way things used to be. What are you smoking that makes you think name-dropping NCLB or RTTT is a convincing argument? What does the current affordability of college have to do with whether standardized testing at the K-12 level helps charter schools? (For the record, I think an awful lot, and maybe a majority, of college degrees are currently overpriced, and students are suckers for taking out big loans to pay for them.)
Charters are judged -- even more harshly -- based on results of these standardized tests. The fact that there's a mechanism to set up charter schools when the public schools suck has nothing to do with the fact that governments have long tried to, and still do, push private schools into the margin. Government's efforts to do so make a mockery of the AC's claim that this social-media snooping debacle was caused by "the philosophy that the free market will be the best solution in every walk of life".