Last month the Pittsburgh Board of Education approved the name of the Pittsburgh Public School District’s new International Baccalaureate World School. A committee of community members, parents, staff and students chose the name Barack Obama Academy of International Studies.

“It sends a good message to students that they can have a part in the process,” said District 3 Rep. Thomas Sumpter.


Every board member except District 8 Rep. Mark Brentley approved the name. Brentley said he thought President Obama should complete his first term before being considered for this designation.

Brentley has also been opposed to other changes in school names under Superintendent Mark Roosevelt, including putting Pittsburgh before each school name and changing Margaret Milliones Middle School into Pittsburgh Milliones University Preparatory School. He said it takes the focus off the historical figures the schools were named for.

“This administration has a way of coming out of nowhere and removing names,” Brentley said. “Some of these people have been great contributors to our city.”

The Obama School, which opened in the fall of 2009 is a full-school magnet where students who have completed the K-5 program in German, French and Spanish can continue in world languages studies. A Japanese course is also available for students with no previous language study.

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