Dear Rob,
I am responding to your article “Progress inside ‘failing’ schools.”

The institutions are failing the students and the city of Mobile. You did receive a dog and pony show provided by our Southern belle of a superintendent. She is extremely good painting a distortion of the truth.

Our students in the failing schools are not being prepared for careers in the future. Rivets are being placed on commercial jets using robotics now. Five years from now, people may only be used to monitor their operations. There are students counting on their fingers in high school. Eighth graders are unable to solve more than three-step algebraic problems. They have difficulty composing a 500-word paper.

As a concerned citizen, I was able to visit some of the high schools and a middle school. I am a retired teacher with certification for administration and postgraduate degrees. I was sickened by what I encountered within the walls of the Mobile Public School System. I experienced unequal education between the majority-white schools and mainly black schools. The level of expectations were very different. I was not surprised but very disappointed.

I did ask people of the educational community, including Mrs. [Martha] Peek, about these discrepancies. I discussed methods by which the problems could be addressed. I was led to believe measures would be taken to make corrections. What was done was a shifting of student bodies, closing some schools and renaming others. It appears as if you had a drop of four failing schools. That was great publicity but no true improvement of the population.

Minority students are being prepared for minimal-paying jobs, not good futures or careers. I must add this is the first time that I have written to a paper in my life.

Full of hope,
June Jones