ed that grades were awarded for lessonsrnthat had not even taken place. (Preciselyrnthis happened to a colleague of mine recently,rnwho received grading for fourrnlessons, though only two had been observed.)rnAnalysis by the Times EducationalrnSupplement, the professional journalrnof teachers, claims that one in sixrnschools classified by Ofsted as failing (arncataclysmic condemnation) should notrnhave been. According to a previous chiefrninspector, Professor Eric Bolton, the rolernof the chief inspector is now “out of control,”rnfor he “can range where he will andrnjustify his pronouncements by selectingrnas he pleases from the huge mass of inspectionrndata that now exists.”rnAfter last term’s week-long inspectionrnof the inner-city school in which I haverntaught for the last five years, I know exactlyrnwhat Professor Bolton means. Ofstedrnreports provide a statistical analysisrnof those lessons observed—but in ourrncase, at least, the selection was neitherrnrandom nor representative. Experiencedrnteachers were visited a couple of timesrnand left alone, but novices—and substitutesrn—were observed repeatedly. Thernlanguage in which Ofsted’s judgmentsrnare expressed, though, suggests scientificrnobjectivity, and a credulous public acceptsrnit. After all, you can’t argue withrnscience. Except that this is the sciencernnot of Galileo or Copernicus, but of thernInquisition which judged them.rnMy own experience of the inspection,rnthough, was hardly of 17th-century Hispanicrnintensity. I did, mind you, have tornsuffer the indignit)’ of being told by an inspectorrnwho was not an English graduate,rnand had not taught in the lastrndecade, that my “knowledge of subject”rnwas “good.” It seemed discourteous tornpoint out to him that this judgment hadrnbeen reached some 21 years earlier,rnthank you, by one of our more ancientrnuniversities, which awarded me an honorsrndegree in it. But when he went on torntell me that my teaching style shouldrnhave been “more pedestrian,” I couldrnhold my tongue no longer. Had it beenrnso, I countered, he would undoubtedlyrnhave told me that the lesson had notrnbeen lively enough. Warming to myrntheme, I questioned not just his judgmentrnbut the absurdity of the system thatrnhad sent him there to make it.rnIt was then he informed me that, atrnsome stage during the literature lessonrnwith my class of 18-year-olds, I had usedrnthe word “bloody.” Under no circumstancesrnshould I have done so. I was takenrnaback. Had he ever, I wondered,rncome across the works of GeorgernBernard Shaw? And then I rememberedrnwhere I was. In the kingdom of Banausia,rnof course, there could be only onernpossible answer; “Not bloody likely.”rnMichael McMahon is a writer who hasrntaught in both state and independentrnschools in England.rnLetter From Bosniarnby Christian HummelrnThe New ImperialismrnMartin is a Franciscan lay missionaryrnwhom I befriended early in my stay inrnT’uzla. Over beers at the Harley-Davidson,rna bar popular with the internationalrncrowd, he explained, “A lot of organizationsrnwill be pulling out at the end of thernyear. This year is real important. If therndemocracy will hold, it has to right now”rn(a reference to the then-upcoming elechons).rn”USAID is cutting back here.rnThe business development program isrnalready run by Bosnians, but the otherrnprojects [which included municipal infrastructurernrebuilding and support ofrnpolitical parties] will be scaled back orrnshut down. You will see a mass exodus inrnDecember.”rnI had been in Bosnia a month, teachingrnEnglish at a teen center in Tuzla,rnabout 100 kilometers north of Sarajevo.rnI was in the country courtesy of the supportrngiven to me by my college, Dartmouth.rnBosnia in many ways is similarrnto the New Hampshire I have grown tornlove, but the political and economic, notrnto mention security conditions, are vastlyrndifferent from anything I have experiencedrnin the United States. Before Irnwent to Bosnia, people frequently askedrnme why I wanted to travel to a war zone.rnI explained to them that the war hadrnbeen over for about three years and thatrnthere were several thousand well-armedrnAmerican soldiers around the city inrnwhich I would be living. Bosnia is notrnpresently a war zone. What I did not realizernuntil I arrived, however, is thatrnBosnia is a colony.rnIn the late 20th century, the idea ofrnimperialism has become unpopular, butrnthat is not to say that imperialism doesrnnot exist. In the 19th century, the influentialrncountries of the world were knownrnas the “Great Powers”; in the Balkansrntoday, they are called the “ContactrnGroup.” The Contact Group is composedrnof countries with an interest in thernregion, based either on history, such asrnRussia, or proximity, such as Germany.rnPerhaps the most significant differencernbetween these two centuries is that thernUnited States, a product of the imperialismrnof England, is a member of thern”Contact Group.”rnOne of the first things you noticernwhen arriving at the airport in Sarajevo isrnthe alphabet soup of trucks. UNHCR,rnOSCE, CARE, USAID, JOG, and thernrest cry out like mantras to some unseenrngod of refugee relief Similarly, thernhodgepodge of military uniforms is intriguing.rnItalian, German, American,rnHungarian, and a few other nationalitiesrncan all be seen in the three-hour drivernfrom the capital to Tuzla, and that is justrnone region in the country. It does not includernthe British “sector” in Banja Luka,rnin the western portion of the country, norrnthe other contingents based in the Americanrn”sector” of Tuzla. Present-dayrnBosnia resembles post-World War IIrnBerlin, without the single wall dividingrnthe city. In Bosnia, the lines are not sornstraight and defined.rnAid organizations are abundant, installingrnInternet access, checking satelliterndishes at refugee camps, or spreadingrnthe Baptist faith, as if what this countryrnneeds is the Starr Report online. Baywatchrnepisodes, and Protestantism. Ofrncourse, most, if not all, of the men andrnwomen I talked to genuinely believed inrnwhat they were doing. Few of them,rnhowever, spoke about the big picturernwhile discussing their work.rnOne hundred years ago, imperialismrnmeant occupying soldiers and colonialrnadministrators; it still does. The questionrnof U.S. troops stationed in Bosnia elicitsrnmixed responses. Younger people, teenagersrnin particular, see the troops as arnblessing. “When the Americans came,rnthe war stopped. I like it that they arernhere,” I heard throughout my stay.rnSome of the older people have a differentrnopinion.rnIn 1995, when it became evident thatrnAmerican forces would be deployed tornBosnia, many small-business owners investedrnwhat little money they had inrnstores or restaurants in anticipation of thernJUNE 1999/39rnrnrn