The school at which I teach currently is a California Distinguished School and an NCLB National Blue Ribbon School. The latter award, announced very recently, included a visit to Washington by a member of our staff to receive the award. A fellow math teacher was chosen, and off she went last week to the nation's capital.
She wasn't impressed with the reception, and deservedly so. When you invite representatives from so-called Blue Ribbon Schools to Washington to receive awards, at a minimum you would expect the Secretary of Education to be present--maybe even to present the awards! But no, apparently Ms. Spellings had more important things to do than to show respect for representatives of good schools from across the country. Instead, she sent a videotaped speech, and the keynote address was delivered by an undersecretary--who admitted giving the same speech twice before to different groups.
My colleague wasn't impressed, and neither should she be.