I wish this were some kind of bad joke. It is not. Takeaway policy lessons (the lessons concerning morals and human decency ought to be obvious):

The impetus behind the No Child Left Behind Act is understandable, even laudable: Keep school district officials from classifying all the hard-to-educate kids as disabled and thereby exempt themselves from any responsibility for educating them. But torturing dying children and their parents is obviously not necessary to achieve this goal. If a kid is in hospice, I don’t think we need to worry about whether he’s making adequate progress on his school initiatives. Give an official broad discretion to make exemptions, and if he’s corrupt or incompetent, fire him.

Of course, you will note that civil-service rules make this difficult. Whole tomes could be written about the ways in which ironclad job protections for civil servants have led to the wild proliferation of hard-and-fast rules designed to keep those civil servants from turning into mini-despots whose mere word is law in their tiny domains. But there is a solution to that problem, and that is to make the official with such discretion an elected position, or an appointee without such protections. And it’s a solution that should be deployed posthaste.

I cannot even believe that we have to debate this issue. And I cannot believe that the Rediskes have to put up with this brand of lunacy during such a difficult time.

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