The Gadfly Forgets His Own Adage

In The art of the possible, the latest Gadfly calls my grim assessment of the current chances of national standards and tests "unimaginative," and goes on to suggest that the liberal support for civil rights and conservative support for competition make national tests political palatable.

With all due respect, I just don't think those forces are strong enough. Most folks's dislikes are clearer and stronger than their likes. And, as someone once remarked, conservatives hate anything with the word "national" in it and liberals hate anything with the word "test." Nothing about that sad but real formulation has changed for the better.


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