Researchers at the University of Arkansas culled data from the more than 10,000 surveys they administered to students at 123 different schools who visited the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
"Whispering Winds" sounds like it might be a luxury resort, or maybe a golf course, but not a public school. But it is, in Phoenix, Ariz. A public school in Arizona, alas, is 50 times more likely to be named for a river, an animal or even an insect than for a president, a war hero or other notable figure from our history. In a study released this week by the Manhattan Institute, Jay P. Greene, Brian Kisida and Jonathan Butcher show that Arizona is not unique. An even broader trend turned up in their analysis of public school names in six other representative states.
The nation's school boards have virtually abandoned the practice of naming new schools after presidents, heroes and civic leaders in favor of inoffensive or trite references to nature and animals, according to a study released yesterday by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.