The year 2002 is crunch year for Messrs Blair and co. Educationally, their targets for that year could only be met by national genetic engineering, begun long before they took office.
How is it that a lack of common sense, combined with a failure to understand some immutable laws, are allowed to inform our national education policies and targets?
Already there are abundant examples of bewildered chief education officers being confronted by primary heads who have set realistic targets for their 2002 KS 2 tests, but not ones which will contribute to the Government's national targets.
Schools have plenty of sound baseline information on their eight-year-olds and there's no way heads will ignore this prior-pupil information in setting their targets.
No amount of measuring can make anything bigger than its natural growth curve permits. The stimulation of good teaching, based on sound formative assessment, can maximise potential but there is no such thing, thank God, as a rack for brains.