We may well be at one of those crossroads in any reform process where policy-makers will have to confront the question: what gives? Surely the lesson from previous reforms is that if it cannot be done properly, it cannot be done - or shouldn't be done.
We report elsewhere in this week's issue of the strides being made, albeit modest ones, towards a new assessment culture. But we also hear the unchanging refrains - where's the time? So when a self-confessed reformer like Ian Smith says we should listen to the teachers, we should all listen.
It is a startling thought if it is true that, as he suggests, "reform over the past 30 years has not had a significant impact on classroom practice".
That's a lot of wasted toil, tears and sweat - let's leave out the Churchillian blood for the moment.