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Birmingham City Councilor Valerie Abbott Calls on City Officials to Help Superintendent Lead Birmingham City Schools Out of ‘Failing’ Status

The African Proverb ‘It takes a whole village to raise a child’ speaks volumes with countless students during this season of graduation. As another school year comes to a close the City of Birmingham remains diligent in their efforts to develop cooperative partnerships with the Birmingham City School System to help students reach their full potential within and beyond the classroom. Last night, Birmingham City Councilor Valerie Abbott, Chair of the Education Committee, hosted a joint meeting between elected officials and Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kelley Castlin-Gacutan. During the meeting, discussions were held concerning collective measures to help the school system resurface and improve education. Superintendent Dr. Castlin-Gacutan also presented City leaders with the latest initiatives currently underway along with a new strategic plan to get Birmingham Schools off the States’ failing schools report.

In February, reports from the Alabama State Department of Education designated 18 Birmingham City Schools as “failing,” meaning the schools’ test scores fell in the bottom six percent of the state. The failing school designation is part of the Alabama Accountability Act, which passed in 2013. If a school falls within the bottom six percent of the test scores, it is added to the list.

Councilor Abbott believes that quality education is a priceless factor in our school systems and she hopes that coming together to discuss collaborative methods will provide long term solutions with sustainable results.

“We all want to know what the school system’s improvement plans are and what we can do to help,” Councilor Abbott said. “It’s in our best interest to invest in our childrens’ education as a whole with the intention of providing each child with the learning environment and tools that meet his or her needs.”

This article is a contribution from Chiara Perry ( in the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office. For more information please contact 205.254.2294.