W came out to the Washington suburbs today to use one of our high schools as window dressing for the announcement* of his plans to extend the perpetual testing of No Child Left Behind to secondary students. There will be plenty to say about his proposals later, but the best immediate take on this particular photo op comes from EduWonk.
[W]ith all the money the Bush team is investing in public relations you’d think someone would’ve told them that it’s a bad idea to have the event at a school named for a dead Confederate. Seems like an avoidable case of what the pros call "bad optics" and a good way to muddle the message especially because there has been controversy about this school’s name and Confederate names on schools in general (pun, of course, intended…).
Virginia loves to honor Confederate leaders with schools. We have at least a dozen named for Stonewall Jackson, including one just a few miles west of W’s propaganda show today, and more than a few for Jefferson Davis.
* No, I wasn’t invited. :-)