November 16, 2002
Score one hit for BEdBlog

Buried in among all this from here a week or two ago is me complaining, from a position of sublime Brit-based ignorance about something called the "No Child Left Behind" campaign or initiative or Presidential (Bush jnr. in this case) Directive or program or whatever they call it over there. I say it's politics and I say the hell with it, was my line, going on nothing but the fact that it definitely is politics.

Well now here's someone who sounds as if he actually knows about it, Michael Lopez of Highered Intelligence (expect a properly organised link Real Soon Now blah blah blah), complaining a lot more loudly than me about this thing, which he calls the "No Child Left Behind So Let's All Stay In Place" Act - which tells you something more right away, yes?

Please read what Lopez says, but if you absolutely insist on only taking my word for it, at least read this quote that Lopez got from here:

Perverse incentives work. A law where the consequences mean that Arkansas has zero failing schools and Michigan has 1,500 is bound to have unintended consequences--every state strives to be Arkansas.

Says Lopez:

That is a very. . . poetic way of putting it.

Say I: That's politics. The difference is that when you or I or for that matter Michael Lopez start doing something idiotic, we can stop as soon as we realise that it's idiotic, say sorry, and switch to something non-idiotic in the space of about two days - maybe a couple of weeks if we're in charge of something complicated. But This Thing is now a law. To change a USA version of one of those you either have to wait about four years minimum, or else get the incumbent President of the United States to say very loudly: "I am an idiot." Good luck.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 01:52 PM
Category: Politics
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