Why do we always do this in Northern Ireland? We allow what is the relatively straightforward issue glaring us in the face to get dragged into a much bigger ideological stooshie. And the inevitable result of introducing unnecessary politics, dripping in decades of mistrust, grudges and prejudices, into an issue that requires immediate action? Nothing.
As we enter another week, when children across Northern Ireland don't know whether or not they will be sitting an exam that has characterised the last two years of their education, it is worth being clear about the problem we are trying to solve.
At 10 and 11 years of age, children in Northern Ireland transfer from primary to secondary school. The manner within which we have chosen for them to do so for many schools is on the basis of academic performance as assessed by a test.
There are significant political differences as to whether this is the right approach, but we've not been able to secure a consensus on a movement away from academic selection in 20 years. It divides political opinion in Northern Ireland because it divides public opinion.
However, this year, a global pandemic has meant that it is literally unsafe for the examinations to take place.
A new strain of Covid-19, which is significantly more transmissible, means that the role of children as carriers of the virus presents a much greater risk to the rest of the population, particularly older and more vulnerable people.
There are lots of important arguments about the potential unfairness of the test going ahead, with significant disparities in children's ability to prepare and, indeed, the disadvantages that many children might face in getting to the school of their choice if it doesn't, but they are judged against the potential loss of life.
Even if by some miracle the public health landscape has changed to such a degree that in six weeks' time it would be safe for an examination to take place, to consider the next steps on this basis is to miss the point.
At this stage, what is causing anxiety and consternation for children and parents isn't the prospect of the exam itself (after all they've been preparing for it for most of their primary school education) it's the uncertainty and constant shifting of the goal-posts.
I am personally very opposed to academic selection and the whole concept of grammar schools, despite having been fortunate enough to have been a major beneficiary of both. But the immediate issue in front of us is not about the merits or otherwise of academic selection.
As it stands, it is simply unsafe for our usual method of transfer to go ahead and we can't say with any degree of certainty, which is what children and parents need, that things will be any different in six weeks. So, it shouldn't. That's it. There's nothing else to see here.
The time we're spending trying to resolve a political stalemate which has existed since devolution began should be being spent coming up with a temporary solution for this year, which will not be an easy task.
As is often the case, the honest assessment is that there are plenty of spades to be shared round for this particular hole in which we find ourselves. There is a time for politics, opposition and accountability, but we're in the middle of the biggest threat our elected representatives and society as a whole have ever faced.
But, instead of our parties seeking to find ways to help each other climb down from their intractable positions, we find ourselves locked in a stand-off for who is going to back down first, with everyone now fearing the embarrassment of compromise. Again, compromise has become a dirty word right at the moment when it is more of a virtue than ever.
Sometimes in life, trying to persuade someone else to do something they don't want to do requires thinking ahead about how to make it easy for them to eventually do it.
Isolating them for holding a minority view, different from yours, may seem like a good idea in terms of winning the argument, but it can often be counter-productive when your opponents have their own audience to think about.
As with other issues before, the DUP position is borne out not by the political impact of temporarily moving away from academic selection, but rather the aesthetics of conceding to the other parties.
This situation is clearly deeply unhelpful in the present circumstances, but it was completely foreseeable.
As such, if your goal is to find a solution to this problem, which I genuinely believe it is on the part of the other four Executive parties, trying to scalp the DUP over the airwaves for the last few months probably wasn't the clever play.
While not perfect by any means, a version of the compromise proposed by Robbie Butler, to include some historical academic performance alongside other factors, the principle of which has been deemed a sensible way forward by experts in the sector, is the clear pathway to a resolution. Let's get on with it.