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.

These poor folks had completely missed my point. I was saying there is no ‘human solution.’  We’ve had 6 superintendents in 15 years and our school system continues to shrink.  How’s anyone going to please the school board, the parents, the teachers (and unions), the students, and the business community—and at the same time overcome our poor reputation and downward momentum?

Then I had an epiphany.

We don’t need a ‘Krulak-like’ solution.  We need a ‘Krulak solution.’

General Charles Krulak, who served as the 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps, came to Birmingham three years ago to become the President of Birmingham-Southern College—a school that was in financial chaos.

Hiring General Krulak was not an obvious choice—many BSC board members were skeptical.  He had never been President of a school—and Birmingham Southern College is pretty far removed from a war college. But General Krulak, with the help of a very generous and devoted board and alumni, has turned Birmingham-Southern around.

Maybe General Krulak’s getting bored and would like to perform one more miracle?

General Krulak’s a true servant leader—and he and his wife have chosen Birmingham as their home.  Maybe God is telling us something.

General Krulak attracted attention during his tenure as Commandant of the Marine Corps by delivering Christmas cookies to each marine duty post in the Washington area.

Maybe it’s time for General Krulak to deliver a Christmas gift to Birmingham and our children.

What a legacy–save Birmingham Schools and help turn Birmingham around.

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David Sher is the publisher of ComebackTown, a co-founder of Buzz12 Advertising Agency and co-CEO of AmSher Collection Agency.  He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham(REV Birmingham), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).

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7 thoughts on “General Krulak for Superintendent of Birmingham Schools”

  1. *If he could do for Birmingham City Schools what he has done for BSC, what a blessing that would be. I am so impressed by his modeling of selflessness, and mission focus. Our kids in Birmingham could really benefit from someone who cared about them individually, the way he has cared about Marines, and students at BSC.

  2. *Certainly hiring a successful person who is committed to the education of Birmingham children is essential to progress of the school system. Before the hiring process begins, it would seem wise to diagnose what problem underlies the turnover of superintendents, the out-migration of students from the Birmingham School system, budget shortfalls, and the poor performance of the students.  The definition of the problem and its systemic roots and linkages is the first step in developing a coherent solution. With a better understanding of the problem, the right person to address that problem could be hired. Simply put, why throw a new superintendent into the same pot of boiling water, when we might shut off the flame first. 

  3. *I believe General Krulak could more for his adopted home as Governor, or even the more powerful post of Speaker of the House.

  4. I like where you are going with that, David. I’d also like to offer another General’s name for consideration…Major General A.C. Roper.

  5. Gen. Krulak would be one of the better choices for Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools, but as you pointed out “General Krulak, with the help of a very generous and devoted board and alumni, has turned Birmingham-Southern around”. Until the board decides to focus on what’s best for the students and gives up on their personal agendas it just isn’t going to happen. Maybe the new board is diametrically opposite the previous one, but the new members haven’t been in place long enough for us to determine that. As to the “alumni”, how many are “devoted” to Birmingham schools? Those who really cared have fled Birmingham in order to provide better for their own children. You were absolutely correct in your previous article – and that is terribly sad.

  6. What a fabulous idea!  What about it General?

    I do agree that we need to do some very innovative, bold changes in the schools system. They should be based on best-practices that have been shown to work, modified to fit our local needs.  The idea of giving scholarships is certainly one to consider and may act as a motivator (as long as we ensure that those graduating are “ready” for college, otherwise, we are setting up failure and relinquishing our responsibility toward them).  There are other approaches that have yielded good results; we need to employ them and to look at our own schools in our system that have done well in the inner city environment.

    But all this takes leadership, a combined leadership of the Board and the Superintendent.  PS  I totally agree that the Board needs to represent the concerns of the entire city, as well as the districts. It should be a balance.  …and while we’re at it, that applies to the County Commission and City Council.

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