No Child Left Unquantified

I am often left dumbfounded by folks like those who write for an outlet like The Postmodern Conservative. They generally seem like intelligent people, but then go and get enthusiastic about an empty suit like Mitt Romney.

Let's get this straight: I can completely understand a genuine conservative holding her nose and voting for Romney as the less bad of two bad choices. But to declare that Romney made one proud to be a Republican, as an otherwise very bright man like Peter Lawler did?! Romney is perhaps more representative of the modernist, managerial, technocratic elite, the most effectively anti-conservative force in history, than any previous candidate for the presidency. I am as dumbfounded as if Lawler had declared free love the ultimate conservative principle of sexual morality.

I was spurred into contemplating this while reading about one of the most unconservative legislative acts of our age, foisted on us by the GOP: the No Child Left Behind Act. The idea that the net worth of a child's education, for all children in all places, can be summed up with a single "score" is about as anti-traditional as an idea can get. And the results have been predictably ugly and destructive. There is very little that is conservative about the modern GOP.


  1. Scott Sumner on his blog said Mitt Romney was too good for the GOP. That's not quite the same thing you are talking about here, but I was pretty flabbergasted.

  2. I agree with complains about nationally centralized testing in the abstract. And I would agree if the test were arbitrary. But do you think the NCLB tests aren't the minimum we should expect out of a kid going through K-12? Is there some block of questions you see on NCLB tests to which you would say, "meh, no big deal if we graduate kids failing these"?

  3. Well to be fair NCLB was intended as the only practicable way to inject some accountability into teaching. School choice and competition is the better way, and the more Burkean way, but it was not politically possible.
    I'm unpersuaded it had serious ill effects. Bad schools are seriously over determined in our current system!

    1. Ken, it would have been much better to do nothing:

      "I'm unpersuaded it had serious ill effects."

      You have kids in American schools?


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