Dr. Douglas L. Ragland

Retired Superintendent of Schools



The Birmingham City School System has a plethora of ills that need to be rectified in order for our school system and community to be on a world class status in terms of leadership potential in producing the best and the brightest students, attracting the best and brightest resources to our schools and community and overall developing a spirit of excellence that we can model to the world. We are currently hindered by the following plights as summarized below:

(1) We are financially distressed with less than 1 months reserves and are under state intervention

(2) Academically depressed with 17 schools or 36% of the district’s schools not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), 11 schools or 23% of the district’s schools on the Alabama Accountability Act Failing School List as failing schools, and a 55% graduation rate

(3) Parent apathy resulting in poor parental involvement,

(4) Shrinking enrollment every year resulting in millions of loss dollars,

(5) Lack of competitive extra-curricular academic activities in exposing our children to the best of the best nationally and worldwide,

(6) Constant teacher and administrator turnover resulting in instability in the classrooms and administration and this comes about as a result of finances being in the red, and last but not least,

(7) Absence of collaborative leadership and decision making to move the district forward. My vision is for the school district to be a world class district preparing every child to be competitive and productive citizens in society, thus leaving no child, no parent, and no community behind.

A favorite quote of mine is “If you keep on doing the same thing you will get the same results". Unfortunately, this is symptomatic of Birmingham City Schools.


In closing I submit to you these words:

Coming together is the beginning

Working together is progress

Staying together is success.

We need to exemplify these words in our leadership as we put children first today for a better tomorrow!