Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How America Overdosed on Drug Courts - Pacific Standard

Worth reading several times. As with all criminal sentencing and with most government things ... Schools, e.g. ... It's just dumb luck if we do something right these days.

There is no accountability for results, or for bureaucrats in the system (including judges) who refuse to follow the evidence whenever it fails to conform with their own prejudices.

one thing that markets do provide that we have to figure out how to get into government programs is feedback loops that punish reality deniers at the top with loss of status and position. With government, in many cases, the wronger you are, the more aggressively wrong you are, the higher you go (prosecutors who win election as judges because they pursue death penalty convictions, people who push programs like DARE, people who push biofuels, people who promise to Get Tough on crime/Saddam/China . . . )

The accountability thing gets confusing, because in typical bureaucratic fashion, the commissars at the top are great at talking the language of accountability while making sure that they themselves are unaccountable, and they inflict accountability charades on underlings who have no ability to affect policy.

So the school boards and CEO style superintendents promote absurd and destructive standardized testing regimes and pretend it has something to do with accountability, thus choosing the popular placebo while pointing the finger at teachers, and evading the spotlight themselves for building soulless factory schools that destroy potential rather than elevate it. You can't tell who gets real accountability by listening to them – you have to see what feedback really is in their system. The CEO model superintendents of school districts go from failure to greater failure with increasing success and salary, and are not accountable to anyone as long as they sling the lingo and adopt corporate values, turning children into little future human resource modules to be delivered to the human resource departments for further processing.

Likewise, we get Departments of Transportation constantly making things worse by trying to keep more of what's failing – a Transportation system centered exclusively on private automobility – going on a bigger and bigger scale.


"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

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