Birmingham City Schools superintendent releases statement on leadership assessments, changes

Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Craigh Witherspoon. (

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Craig Witherspoon released a statement Wednesday in response to the rampant rumors and questions regarding the hiring and firing of principals.Witherspoon's statement, which you can read below, comes less than one week after Ramsay High School placed principal Evelyn Nettles on paid administrative leave. The decision to remove Nettles has sparked an intense debate in the community, and many students are petitioning for her return.Full statement from Craig Witherspoon: "In response to recent rumors and inquiries related to principal placements for the 2014-2015 school year, I would like to provide the following information to parents and stakeholders of Birmingham City Schools. First, be assured that Birmingham City Schools has made and will continue to make progress in many areas. As Superintendent, I will continue to raise expectations and accountability across the system. Moreover, the members of the Birmingham Board of Education have clearly indicated their expectation and charge that student outcomes and performance continue to improve."Although significant strides have been made across the district, we still have a number of schools that are not yet performing at expected levels, given the abilities of our students. With building leadership being a key factor in improving school performance, we assess building leadership annually and make changes as appropriate and necessary. This year will be no different. As in any other business or organization, these assessments are made to improve organizational effectiveness to achieve intended outcomes."High quality leadership in all 44 schools is our expectation. Our students deserve no less, and we will expect no less in this regard. Further, it is our expectation that administrators and staff remain professional in this process in order to move the system forward."Again, our goal is improve student achievement across the district. Thus, employees may be moved into positions that are most appropriate in order to accomplish this goal."