Thursday, July 19, 2007

What's in a name?

Well, that was quick:

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt announced this afternoon that he's going to continue using "public" as part of the school district's commonly used name.

At a school board Education Committee meeting last week, Mr. Roosevelt's staff proposed using "Pittsburgh Schools" as the commonly used term for the district.

That prompted an outcry from parents and other residents who said the district should be proud of the word "public." (from the Post-Gazette)

Look, marketing and public relations are important. But there are limits to what they can accomplish for an organization. The problem here is that the district has substantive problems (which, in fairness, it is trying to address), but it appeared to be wasting time and money on a branding campaign that people correctly believed would do nothing to improve the district's image. Quite the contrary, by dropping the word "public" from its name, the school district seemed to tacitly admit there is something wrong with public schools.

Backtracking is the right thing to do in this instance. But it makes district officials look doubly foolish nonetheless.

In other education matters, Chris Briem takes up the good fight.

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Blogger O said...

Thank God they didn't just drop the "L".

10:36 PM


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