"Public" Is Now a Four-Letter Word


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.