Dan Carsen

Dan Carsen


Dan Carsen is our health and science reporter. He’s been a science teacher, a teacher trainer, a newspaper reporter, a radio commentator, and an editor at an educational publishing house. His writing and reporting have won numerous regional and national awards. His outside interests include basketball, sailing, percussion, raptors, and seeking REM brainwaves.

This Mostly White City Wants To Leave Its Mostly Black School District

Jefferson County, Ala., schools have been under a desegregation order for decades. Now that a majority-white city wants to form its own district, a judge must decide if it’s violating civil rights.

“Alabama Unity Rally” Peaceful but Fiercely Anti-Trump

Recent anti-Donald Trump rallies around the nation have been marred by violence. Some feared that would happen in Birmingham, especially after social-media threats. But Saturday night, though hundreds protested, no one got hurt. That’s not to say emotions weren’t high.

A Conversation with “Mr. Fred,” 86-Year-Old Learning to Read

Fred Oliver of Birmingham is 86 and a world traveler. He served in the Korean War, spent time in Japan, and has held more jobs than he can count. He loves to visit far-off places, but as we reported yesterday, his latest odyssey is close to home, at the Literacy Council of Central Alabama: he’s learning to read and write.

Fighting Adult Illiteracy, One Reader at a Time

Imagine not being able to read an email from your family. Or a job application. Or medication labels. How about a simple road sign? Adult illiteracy is a complex, stubborn problem. Based on conservative estimates, in the five-county area around Birmingham alone, there are more than 90,000 adults who have trouble reading and writing. There are almost as many reasons as there are people.

What Can Finland Teach Alabama About Education?

Several decades ago, Finland’s education system was considered mediocre. But starting around 2001, it came to be regarded as a powerhouse, usually at or near the top of the world’s nations on internationally normed tests. How? And can those strategies work in Alabama?

Education Activists Seek to Rescind Hire of Ala. Superintendent

About three dozen people organized by education advocate Larry Lee have signed on to be plaintiffs in pending legal action intended to rescind the hiring of Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentance.

Roy Moore Trial Ends; Fate of State Chief Justice Unknown

Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was on trial himself today in Montgomery. He’s accused of ordering probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage.

Birmingham School Board Ousts Superintendent

After a heated meeting Thursday night, the Birmingham school board surprised many by voting six to three to fire the district’s Superintendent. Kelley Castlin-Gacutan, more often called “Dr. G,” had held the position for 14 months.

From CIA to United Way: Weld for B’ham on Diverse Agencies

This week, CIA Director John Brennan met with Birmingham City School students as part of a self-described crusade to make the agency more diverse. That’s one story in the latest Weld For Birmingham. Editor Nick Patterson joins us most Thursdays to discuss Weld’s top stories. He tells WBHM’s Dan Carsen about Brennan’s visit, and about Weld’s cover story on the United Way and area nonprofit groups.

Weld for B’ham on Living Beyond the Headlines, West of I-65

When you hear “Ensley,” or “Brighton,” or “West End,” what comes to mind? Many people who work, live, and raise families on the west side of Birmingham want you to know there’s more to life there than the crime and other problems that fill so many news reports.