LONDON — Very few parents in Britain or Japan are happy about the state of education available to their children. The response of politicians in both countries to these concerns is inadequate and sometimes dangerous.

In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair repeats that he gives first priority to “education, education, education.” He has tried hard to shake up and improve the schools system. But he has added to the education bureaucracy and damaged the morale of many teachers by constantly harping on targets.

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