Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Naming schools after current political figures

From the PG, see the last letter to the editor:


Questioner said...

In support of naming a school after President Obama, one board member noted that some other districts had named schools after Obama. "Everybody's doing it..."

parent one said...

Today I write as one parent ashamed of herself. I had opportunity to speak out about the name of the school at a public hearing but failed to exercise the right to do so.

Questioner said...

The issue kind of took most people by surprise. Few knew there was a committee on this issue until after the committee had already made a decision. And it is not clear if the committee was able to make a choice other than Obama, Warhol or Clemente. An option might have been simply "Pittsburgh International Studies Academy," which would be in line with "Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy" and "Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts".

Observer said...

Most people seem to forget the magnitude of a black man being elected as president of this country. Certainly, the moron who wrote the editorial failed to see the bigger picture. While it is true that Mr.Obama has not yet built a lasting legacy which speaks to his presidency, such is not the issue. Perhaps walking a mile in the shoes of one's father, grandfather or great grandfather is the remedy. No one alive in the America of 1940 could have foreseen such a thing. Or 1910. Or 185o. That is the issue, and it speaks to the dream which is America itself.
I had to laugh at the prepubescent banter regarding "half the country not liking" Obama. He might as well have emblazoned the words "neo conservative" across his editorial. Thankfully, it is doubtful that we will ever have to debate the idea of a George W.Bush High or Dick Cheney Middle School. Heaven forbid. The message to the author should be clear: your people mangled this nation for 8 years and you lost the election. Blaming the man who has appointed to clean up the mess is not only counter-productive, it bespeaks an ignorance on your part. That you would wish to play politics where there truly is no politics to play is akin to another swift-boating of the populace.
Nice try.

Anonymous said...

Still, some of us who were early and enthusiastic Obama supporters are not entirely comfortable with the idea of a school being named for ANY sitting elected official.

Anonymous said... one ear and out the other. Might as well be talking to the kids.

Let's Keep It Sane said...

Obamba's election was certainly historic. And, hopefully, he will use his mandate to improve things both here at home and abroad.

But he will probaby be standing for reelection in 2012.

So naming a school after Obama before then could reasonably be seen as an election endorsement.

That would be just as wrong as naming a building "Support the Democrats" (or "Support the Republicans", or whatever.)

It's anti-American, it's stupid, it's pandering, and it shouldn't be done.

Which means they'll probably do it!

Anonymous said...

Its just as silly as calling it Ravenstahl High. It should not be named after any current elected official.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised about how inane the last two posts have been. Do they have computers in bars?

Questioner said...

Anon 9:53, can you explain?

Mark Rauterkus said...

You'd also be suprised, in an "inane" way, at how strict the camaign finance reform laws have become recently. Computers in jails -- humm -- might as well as an ex-State Rep or ex-State Senator that question as many are in or going to jail now for breaking those election laws and USING PUBLIC FUNDS to aid in POLITICAL SPEECH.

When the sign with the school name gets planted in the lawn -- we'll have PUBLIC FUNDS going to aid a candidate in the 2012 primary and general election.

Not good nor prudent for Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Some emergency, and costly, change will be mandated.

BTW, I'm not ashamed of myself as I did speak out about this decision and asked the PPS, in advance of its decision, to steer clear of the "obama" neme, at least for now.

Furthermore, so as to clear the air, the charge of the committee was only to advance three names to the board. Clemente, Warhol and Obama were in the mix. The ultimate decision was that of the board.

Next up, mascots and colors. That rests in the hands of the kids, and their school administrators who guide the democratic process.

The mascot should be, "The Olympians."

Anonymous said...

Observer's comment about the naming on January 6 is a lucid, reasonable rationale. Mr.Rauterkus's comments meanwhile have little in the way of clarity or reason, at least to this "observer." Incidentally, was your failure to capitalize Obama's last name an oversight or an intentional gaffe?

For the record, I understand the naming of the new school and think they have everything to do with the opportunities for minorities in this country. I'd have liked to have seen a different name, mind you, but I understand it. And for the record, it is much more appropriate than Clemente or Warhol. It's a pity that you cannot put forth some modicum of understanding in what again seems to be a ridiculous rant.

And "Olympians" should be the new nickname? Why? Was this your idea?

Mark Rauterkus said...

I did capitalize Obama, once.

Olympians fit as it is a school devoted to international studies. And, the prior mascot, Spartans, are from Greece -- also home to the Original Olympians. So, the name builds upon the past legacy.

That name has been in the top flight among the students too.

For the record, I understand the naming of Obama too.

All the clarity and reason is within the campaign finance laws and 2012's expected re-election campaign of Prez B.O.

Anonymous said...

Baloney, Mark, as always.

Questioner said...

What's baloney- the mascot, or the interpretation of finance laws, or both?

The issue of whether this name SHOULD be used, even if it CAN be used, is at least debateable.

Mark Rauterkus said...

When wrong, a ploy of the simple-minded is to attack the messenger as that's all that can be mustered. Hey, mustard goes with baloney too.

Mark Rauterkus said...

In other news, this dude likes the mascot idea for the IB / Obama School, as he is both a Spartan and Olympian.

Anonymous said...

Yawn. Mark, your ideas bore me.

Happy Gilmore said...


Mark, you must have offended someone's delicate sensibilities!

I thought your comments were reasonable.

Perhaps Anon 5:36 should blog less and nap more.