When our public schools are failing, we’re all failing. So to go hollering and screaming and pointing fingers now serves no useful purpose other than bad politics. We’ve got to roll up our sleeves and fix this.

Our hearts ache over the news that the Mississippi Department of Education’s unofficial projected testing grades give the Philadelphia Public School District an “F.”

We all know Philadelphia (the town) doesn’t really deserve an “F,” but failing schools are symptomatic of a larger systemic problem. 

Have we lost the culture?

No matter how good the county schools, — and Neshoba Central Elementary’s “A” is exceptional — a failing city school district is an economic development blight, no matter what anybody says about what brought them here.

This is serious, and if unresolved, will be the downfall of Philadelphia as we know it.

For decades, this page has argued education begins in the home. However, when we look at the demographics of the city, so many are caught in a cycle of poverty. 

Sixty years of failed government policies have kicked those most in need to the curb. Government has failed.

Good and decent people of all races want to be safe and able to provide a better future for the next generation. 

When grandmothers are dumped onto city streets and juveniles are shooting into occupied dwellings and cars, we’ve got a problem with the culture.

If Philadelphia finds a fix, we can patten it and get rich because we’re not the only ones with problems. All of Nissan’s money hasn’t been able to fix the Canton Public Schools.

Yet, to the north in the same county, people of the same demographic thrive in a county school district that remains consistently one of the best in the state.

Somebody ought to do a study as to why that is the case.

The three-hour road show ought to be about our entire community and facing the inner-city-like issues of poverty and joblessness right here among us, real concerns that send children home to unstable environments often returning to school hungry.

The teachers, administrators and students are worn out, deflated and demoralized. What they need is hope and a hand.