Education

"Public" Is Now a Four-Letter Word

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The Pittsburgh Public Schools will drop "public" from its name and adopt a new, standardized way of referring to its schools as part of a campaign to brighten and strengthen the district's image.

For example, Schenley High School will be called Pittsburgh Schenley.

The campaign by voucher supporters to rename public school as "government schools" has been overtaken by events. Even "public" has enough stigma attached to it these days to spark a major rebranding campaign in Pittsburgh.

By dropping "public" from its name, Randall Taylor said, the district might be able to avoid the negative attitude often associated with public schools.

[Chief of Staff Lisa] Fischetti noted that suburban districts don't have "public" in their names…

By adding Pittsburgh to the identity of each school, Ms. Fischetti hopes the public will come to associate a level of quality with every school in the district.

No word on whether the marketing consultant studied the negative attitude often associated with Pittsburgh.

Plus this bonus tidbit:

The district also will begin using "Excellence for All," the name of its sweeping academic-improvement plan, on all stationery and other written materials. "Excellence for All" has its own logo with a gold swirl and star.

But remember, if everyone is excellent, then no one is.

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  1. Th “In Living Color” joke practically writes itself… 🙂

  2. “No word on whether the marketing consultant studied the negative attitude often associated with Pittsburgh.”

    Ouch! If PA has one good thing, it’s ALOT of good schools. Its just that everyone leaves after they get their education…

  3. rename public school as “government schools”

    That should be “gun run schools”. Eh, Brian?

  4. All schools are “gun run” – public schools use guns to force people in, and private schools use guns to keep people out.

  5. 1) The Pittsburgh Public Schools will drop “public” from its name

    2) For example, Schenley High School will be called Pittsburgh Schenley.

    Call me kooky, but I don’t see the word “public” in the name Schenley High School in order to drop it in the first place. Then again, I’m a bonehead.

  6. As a Pittsburgh native, I would guess they are trying to name all the schools the same name.

    That way, when most of them close (people are getting out of Pittsburgh like people jumping out of a burning building), they can just call it Pittsburgh High School and hope no one notices.

    They did it a few years ago when they couldn’t afford both the Regatta and the 4th of July celebration. So they just called the 4th the “Regatta.”

    I am actually surprised that the PG had space for this story, seeing as Steelers’ Preseason is in 3 weeks.

  7. Brules: when bragging about the quality of your education you should remember that “a lot” is two words. This is especially so when you capitalize the phrase.

  8. Ah, Pittsburgh…Will the last person to leave please remember to turn off the lights?

  9. No word on whether the marketing consultant studied the negative attitude often associated with Pittsburgh.
    No fair to win the thread before the replies even start

  10. The sad thing is, this plan will probably be more effective in improving schools than any of the things the presidential candidates are trying to do. And they probably realize it, but still throw more money at things that simply don’t work.

  11. I think you misspelled pub… oh, never mind.

  12. “Ouch! If PA has one good thing, it’s ALOT of good schools.”

    the author, obviously, didn’t attend one of them..

    [keed keed!!!!]

    GO BROWNS!!!

    DAR – twisted and naughty.

  13. What’s the over/under on how much some genius got paid for this idea?

  14. $20,000 for this a few other services we probably didn’t hear about.

    I’ll take the under.

  15. All schools are “gun run” – public schools use guns to force people in, and private schools use guns to keep people out.

    What planet are you from, Dan T.? A private school doesn’t want to threaten potential customers with a gun any more than your neighborhood grocery store does.

  16. Dan, do you imagine private school administrators to be something like Kermit the Frog on Family Guy?

  17. Brules: when bragging about the quality of your education you should remember that “a lot” is two words. This is especially so when you capitalize the phrase.

    Ah yes, because my one response was a perfect statistical representation of the educational benefits provided by Pittsburgh area schools. Typical anecdotal evidence so prevalent in the blogosphere.

    Anywho, it is a good example of how the libertarian mantra of government=bad has filtered to the mainstream.

  18. By dropping “public” from its name, Randall Taylor said, the district might be able to avoid the negative attitude often associated with public schools.

    Or, you could try implementing actual and substantial improvements to public education so it would no longer have a negative connotation.

    Although I advocate abolishing public education entirely I also know full well that there are plenty of quality public schools in this country. Maybe Taylor could emulate what works in other places instead of rebranding.

  19. Brian S, good one with Kermit.

  20. Thanks, TWC. With your continued support, some day I’ll win a thread.

  21. All schools are “gun run” – public schools use guns to force people in, and private schools use guns to keep people out.

    SEE!!

    no idea when this guys is serious or not

  22. I’m thinking of starting a bottled air company. My strategy is to stigmatize ordinary air as “public air”. I’ll put some ads like this in upscale magazines :

    “You’re not the kind of parent would let their children breathe the same air that homeless tuberculosis-ridden crack smokers breathe..are you? Choose e’s organic air for your child: bottled from alpine meadows in Switzerland and delivered straight to your door.”

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