Category Archives: Birmingham School System

Birmingham: the next Homewood?

Homewood City Hall
Homewood City Hall

The City of Birmingham could be the next Homewood.

Homewood is one of the most livable and popular cities in Alabama.

Young folks are flocking into Homewood.

Young folks also are flocking into Birmingham.

But Birmingham has a problem…
Continue reading Birmingham: the next Homewood?

Am I mad for buying Century Plaza?

Thomas Beavers, Senior Pastor of the New Rising Star Church
Thomas Beavers, Senior Pastor of the New Rising Star Church

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Pastor Thomas Beavers .  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Am I mad for buying Century Plaza?

Yes, THAT Century Plaza– the abandoned mall in east Birmingham.

And that’s not even the mad part.

We’re buying a rundown behemoth of a property and converting it into a church and a school.

743,000 square feet of retail space; 62 acres; 1,400 parking spaces, and 1.3 miles around. Continue reading Am I mad for buying Century Plaza?

Mtn. Brook & Vestavia don’t have to give up their schools for a better Birmingham

Mountain Brook Board of Education
Mountain Brook Board of Education

Fewer people are employed in our Birmingham-Hoover Metro Area today than in 2007.

Meanwhile cities like Nashville, Charlotte, and Austin are growing jobs exponentially.

What is wrong with us?  Why can’t we compete? Continue reading Mtn. Brook & Vestavia don’t have to give up their schools for a better Birmingham

Birmingham parent: How to save our children and our schools

Tae Alexander
Tae Alexander

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Tae Alexander.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

I’ve not been to space, nor have I solved the pressing issues of our today. It would be great to discover a simple cure for that which physically ails and handicap some of those dearest to us. I am simply a random 30 something, wife, mother, daughter, and friend.

I’m a product of school systems throughout western Birmingham, Al and surrounding areas. Continue reading Birmingham parent: How to save our children and our schools

What’s wrong with Birmingham School Board and City Council?

Members of the Birmingham City Schools Board of Education
Members of the Birmingham City Schools Board of Education

Oh no!  It’s happened again.

Birmingham City Schools lost another superintendent.

Kelley Castlin-Gacutan was fired after 16 months—the 8th superintendent in 17 years.

How can one school board after another continue to make such bad hiring and/or firing decisions?

Continue reading What’s wrong with Birmingham School Board and City Council?

There’s no stopping Birmingham

Maury Shevin
Maury Shevin

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Maury Shevin.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

I recently attended a meeting of real estate professionals from the Birmingham area.

Dick Schmalz, President RGS Properties, spoke about his 20 Midtown development.  20 Midtown is the new Publix, Starbucks, retail and apartment buildings that are being developed between 3rd and 4th Avenues South on both sides of 20th Street.  These are not pie-in-the-sky projects.  They are real with building permits and bank financing. Dick said these three projects will cost more than $100 million.

Continue reading There’s no stopping Birmingham

General Krulak for Superintendent of Birmingham Schools

General Charles Krulak
General Charles Krulak, President Birmingham Southern College

Last week’s ComebackTown blog was titled, “Our next Superintendent’s not going to save Birmingham Schools.”

The point of the piece was that there’s no person dead or alive who can save our school system—not Moses, not President Abraham Lincoln–not even Coach Nick Saban.

The piece received many comments—both online and in person—but a response I never expected was that we needed a ‘Krulak-like’ solution. Continue reading General Krulak for Superintendent of Birmingham Schools

Our next Superintendent’s not going to save Birmingham Schools

Craig Witherspoon
Craig Witherspoon, outgoing Superintendent Birmingham City Schools

Every editorial I read about hiring a new superintendent for Birmingham City Schools says it’s critical we recruit the right candidate.  The future of Birmingham Schools and possibly the City of Birmingham may be at stake.

Unfortunately, our next superintendent has virtually no chance of being successful.

Every time we employ a new superintendent we think he/she’s the one. Continue reading Our next Superintendent’s not going to save Birmingham Schools

I send my daughter to Birmingham Schools—and love it

Laura Gallitz
Laura Gallitz

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Laura Gallitz.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

David Sher’s provocative title “I’ll do anything to help B’ham schools except send my kids there,” appeared in my Facebook feed. It worked. I clicked. I read. I started reading comments, and I was compelled to comment as well. Sher wrote, “If people are serious about helping our inner city children, then they should invite those children into their school systems…Or they should send their children to Birmingham schools and then fight like hell to make them better.”

I wanted to take a moment to say that some of us are doing exactly that. Continue reading I send my daughter to Birmingham Schools—and love it

I’ll do anything to help B’ham schools except send my kids there

David Sher
David Sher

On March 1st I attended a TEDxBirmingham event at the Alys Stephens Center.  Fifteen speakers gave passionate speeches with the common theme to rediscover the magic of Birmingham. Quite frankly, it was an event I will never forget.

One of the speakers, Victoria Hollis, who’s the Program Manager at the Birmingham Education Foundation (ED), urged the audience to take ownership of Birmingham Schools.  She gave the analogy of a small child falling down on the playground. She said even though the child wasn’t yours, you would still rush over and pick the child up.  At the completion of her talk, the audience gave her an enthusiastic standing ovation.

A friend, who was sitting next to me, tapped me on the shoulder and implored me to go home and write a blog for ComebackTown about Victoria and her talk.

This is that blog.  But it’s not the blog my friend thought I would write. Continue reading I’ll do anything to help B’ham schools except send my kids there