Speaking of social experiments, here in Wisconsin our former governor, Tommy Thompson, decided to put the claims of school-voucher advocates to the test. He initiated an “experimental” program in Milwaukee designed to test the proposition that kids would do much better in private schools that their parents chose for them. Fully funded it for 5 years, with a team of educational researchers from UW-Milwaukee contracted to compare the voucher-school kids with matched counterparts attending the public schools. Great idea, carried out rigorously and thoroly.
The 5 years were up, the researchers turned in their findings, and there was no statistically significant difference in educational outcomes. The governor thanked them, dismissed them, and expanded the voucher program without that troublesome evaluation component.
Reality had failed to match dogma, you see, so it was the reality that needed to be jettisoned. Little did we suspect at the time that it was a harbinger of a national trend which has since become epidemic.