For something like 20 years exam results have been improving year on year in England.
And every year their Education Secretary has told us it was because the pupils were working harder and the teachers were teaching better.
None of us believed it much and suggestions were made that maybe the exams were getting easier. Studies comparing exam papers over the years bore out our doubts, not to mention the facts that many employers refused to employ school leavers because they were neither literate nor numerate, and university teachers spent the first year of courses teaching what the kids should have learned at school.
But when anyone had the audacity to mention this they were shouted down by ministers, teachers and parents. Why did we have to put down kids and teachers who were working so hard?
Now the doubters have been somewhat vindicated.
It appears that the dual follies of applying market forces to the examination boards and setting targets on exam passes for schools have resulted in an inevitable dumbing down.
Telegraph reporters have secretly recorded and filmed executives of examination boards telling teachers what questions WON'T come up (and by default, which ones will), and bragging about how easy their exams are for students to pass, and for teachers to teach. 'I don't know how we got it past the regulator', said one executive.
Well, we know the answer to that one. Like every other regulator, 'Ofthis' and 'Ofthat', Ofqual (yeah, that's what it's called) is a toothless waste 'ofspace' and public money, seemingly staffed by people who can't be bothered getting off their backsides to do the job they are paid to do.
So far it is only English and Welsh boards which have been found to be wanting. (Of course English and Welsh Education Departments are separately run, but the examination system is largely the same and some English schools buy Welsh exams.)
In Scotland although results at standard grade have improved steadily over the past ten years, the same period has seen a much more varied pattern in Higher passes, percentages dipping in the middle of the decade and recovering to about the same level as 2000 by 2010.
Here there is only one exam board and every pupil takes the same exam removing the commercial incentive for the board to set ever-easier questions. The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Mike Russell says that exams are not getting easer here.
However, in the light of the Telegraph's disclosures I hope that he makes it his business to double check the standard of the papers set by this one exam board. There's no point in having free education if it's not true education, and it's better to be safe than sorry, Mr Russell.
As for the shadow education person in England getting up to high doh about the revelations... Please, Mr Twigg, you surely can't think it only started since the Tories got in, can you?