Surely the Bush administration must bear much of the responsibility for post-9/11 immigration policy and other ham-handed policies toward science and universities. But Democrats have also traditionally cast a blind eye at teachers' unions who have opposed measures such as merit pay and substantially greater teacher responsibility that, in my view, are necessary to improve public education. I have never been able to see why the governance structures, mediated throughout by meritocratic judgment, that are so central to having made U.S. institutions of higher education so highly successful internationally, have been so fiercely resisted in K-12 education in the U.S.Meritocratic judgement in higher education? Sometimes. Sometimes that judgement is simply getting the people that annoy you off the island. Perhaps word has gotten back to China that, contrary to the ProfScam crowd, academicians are not underworked and overpaid.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT. Stephen at Left2Right notes a fall-off in graduate school applications from overseas, which, when combined with the poor academic skills of domestic students, might herald a brain drain for the United States. His concluding paragraph suggests there is plenty of blame to go around.