Your report on Baltimore City schools CEO Gregory Thornton points up a disturbing aspect of life in Baltimore: The public schools are disorganized, dysfunctional and devoid of leadership ("Some critics call for Thornton's ouster as leader of Baltimore schools," Feb. 26).

I know this because our granddaughter attends fourth grade in a brand new building in Northeast Baltimore.

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In her first couple of weeks, she was held by two older girls while a third rifled her book bag and took her lunch. She has been denied field trips by teachers for inexplicable reasons, and she has been taught by people who are uncertified to teach at her grade level. Since the school year began, there has been constant turnover among her teachers.

Her mother and aunt attended Waverly Elementary School for their entire elementary school careers. They thrived there, learning how to read, do math and speak in public. I presided over the PTA there for eight years.

My impression from speaking with parents at other schools is that we have a systemwide problem. Rumors of dissatisfaction with Mr. Thornton have persisted for months. Rumors of board inaction on his watch have also persisted. It is the children ultimately who are suffering.

We need the adults associated with the education of our public school children to step it up. Our children deserve better, and they are not getting it.

Our city's future depends on our providing quality education to our children. It will take quality leadership from the CEO and the school board to make that happen — and now rather than later.

Ralph E. Moore Jr., Baltimore

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