The data destroyers: Government fears accountability above all

All that was really required was an asterisk. California is changing its standardized-testing practices to bring itself into alignment with Common Core standards. The results from the new tests will not be comparable to the old ones on a point-by-point basis. What actually seems to have happened here is that the California department of education was worried that the old data and the new data would be used to make invalid comparisons. Which is to say, the people who run California’s schools have put forward the self-indicting thesis that Californians are too stupid to understand the issue.

They should know.

The belief that you rubes can’t be trusted to handle your own information, gathered by your own government, is all too common, as is the destruction of documents and data for narrow political purposes. No serious person (and from that category we must exclude David Ignatius) believes that Hillary Rodham Clinton’s e-mail scandal is the result of anything other than Herself’s willful avoidance of oversight and accountability, or that Lois Lerner’s e-mail whoopsy is anything other than a naked ploy to keep her and her colleagues out of the federal penitentiary where they belong. Even the inspectors general in the federal agencies — the in-house watchdogs who are supposed to have free access to basically everything in order to prevent financial and ethical shenanigans — are routinely stymied, a bad habit that has intensified under the Obama administration. IGs trying to determine whether the Peace Corps mishandled sexual-abuse cases and the extent to which the EPA improperly suppressed internal communications sought by investigators were blocked by the Obama administration, which has invented out of whole cloth legal justifications for doing so. We have the National Park Service, for Pete’s sake, invoking national security in refusing to cooperate with investigators.