I am a proud parent of a Whitney High graduate. Your article by James Gomez discussed some of the reasons why Whitney High is such an outstanding school and deserves its No. 1 recognition. Whitney High ranked at the top 99 percentile on the state CAP test for seniors.
I teach 18 miles away at Jefferson High School in South-Central Los Angeles. Some people call it gang country. Jefferson High ranked at the very bottom, at the first percentile. All of us must ask why. All of us are responsible for the crime that allows a situation to exist that guarantees that the kids at Jefferson will fail in school and in life.
I am also proud of the fact that I was involved in the establishment of the original Whitney Learning Center. Bob Beall, the principal, and the staff should be given the credit for making Whitney into the school that it is today. We need more Whitney High Schools. We need to do something in this state and nation to make sure that there will be no more Jefferson high schools that are unable to help kids in the inner cities.
The junior high schools that send students to Jefferson High had the lowest scores on the eighth-grade CAP test. Therefore, the elementary schools in that area are unwilling or unable to guarantee that every child can read and write by the sixth grade.