Education

Lavender Celebration honors LGBTQ students at UAB

Lavender Graduations, or Lavender Celebrations, are ceremonies that honor LGBTQ college graduates and their accomplishments. UAB has hosted an annual Lavender Celebration since 2017, but this year’s took on new meaning with new laws targeting transgender students.

New report shows math proficiency continues to lag in Alabama

This week, officials released an update to the annual Kids Count Data Book which measures the well-being of kids in Alabama. Advocates are hopeful spending on children's healthcare and education recently approved by state lawmakers will improve indicators.

In New Orleans, students are using Anne Frank’s story to teach each other about injustice

"In Quarantine with Anne Frank,” helps students learn to talk to each other about discrimination.

Educators, psychologists say attending school at home hampers students’ development

Roughly 70% of students at Birmingham City Schools ranked below their grade level in math, and 40% of students ranked below their grade level in reading.

Alabama’s ‘ultimate school choice’ bill gets complicated when considering race and poverty

Parents could get about $5,600 per kid in state money to use for other schooling options. The proposal is currently in a legislative study committee. But experts told WBHM school choice brings up concerns around equity.

Vestavia Hills schools and city face a lawsuit for allegedly withholding public information

The Vestavia Hill City Schools along with the superintendent and the city face a lawsuit alleging they’re improperly withholding public information on COVID-19 masking and safety protocols. The lawsuit was filed by two parents last month.

Lake Homes Realty
UAB School of Nursing

Mississippi’s plan to stop Alabama from stealing its teachers? Pay them thousands more

As Mississippi lawmakers plot how to keep more teachers in the state, educators warn the state’s bill targeting critical race theory could drive them away.

How a Birmingham art educator makes art feel accessible and inclusive

Angie May wants art to reach everyone who visits the Birmingham Museum of Art. As the associate director in learning and engagement, she heads inclusive and innovative initiatives to open art history to younger generations.

Jewish family faces death threats after complaining about Nazi salute performed in class

A teacher at Mountain Brook High School allegedly led students in a salute that mimics how Nazis raised their arms in World War II. A Jewish student in the class complained and his family says they’re now receiving death and arson threats.

After bomb threats, Southern HBCU leaders discuss how to move forward: ‘We can’t cave’

Historically Black colleges and universities in multiple states, including Alabama, have received bomb threats this month.

Birmingham teachers stage sickout due to COVID frustrations

Some Birmingham City Schools employees staged a sickout this week to bring attention to their concerns with how COVID-19 is being dealt with in their schools.

Critical race theory divides Gulf South educators and state leaders

Critical race theory is a hot-button issue for politicians in the Gulf South. Alabama and Mississippi are attempting to pass new laws prohibiting it.

Some parents express frustration with schools’ responses to the omicron surge

As students across Birmingham return to classrooms after the winter break, schools must contend with the COVID-19 omicron variant. With cases surging, WBHM heard from some parents who are frustrated with the response from school leaders.

Field trips look a lot different for students this year. But that’s not entirely bad

As public schools adjust to all in-person classes, educators have found value in welcoming accessible field trips through virtual tours.

The stadium bid for Woodlawn High School is approved. It could be built by the fall

The Birmingham Board of Education has approved a bid for Woodlawn High School's new football stadium. It could be built by fall 2022.

How a Birmingham shop owner brings memories to life through books

Jim Reed has collected books and writings for more than 40 years and believes books keep memories alive.

Alabama is last in math. Politicians look for ways to close gap

Fifth graders could be required to pass a new math test to advance to the sixth grade. One lawmaker is proposing legislation for the 2022 Alabama Session.

Board rejects bid for Woodlawn High School stadium

The Birmingham Board of Education rejected the bid to build a stadium and fieldhouse on the campus of Woodlawn High School. This comes just months after the ceremonial groundbreaking.

Birmingham Promise gets a $1.8 million grant to boost students’ careers

Bloomberg Philanthropies awarded the Birmingham Promise a $1.8 million grant specifically to support internships and apprenticeships for Birmingham City Schools seniors.

Kids age 5 and up can start getting vaccinated in Jefferson County

Over 400,000 kids in Alabama aged 5 to 11 are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, after the CDC approved Pfizer’s low-dose vaccine for kids. Several families in Jefferson County told WBHM they’re eager to get their shots and move towards normalcy.

UAB Heersink School of Medicine
UAB Department of Music
UAB School of Nursing

3 things to watch for in the new Birmingham school board

With over half of its members new and millions of dollars in federal pandemic relief funding, the new Birmingham City school board is ready to tackle education with a fresh perspective. WBHM talked to incoming, outgoing and returning members about what Birmingham teachers, students and residents can expect.

More Black families in Birmingham find freedom in homeschooling

The face of homeschooling is changing and diversifying. In just a year, the number of Black families has increased five-fold— and for more reasons than COVID-19. Several families told WBHM they see homeschooling as a way to protect their children from educational racism.

Alabama Board of Education cements state’s ban on critical race theory

At the October meeting, the Alabama state board of education cemented its ban on critical race theory into policy. But, attendants of the meeting reacted in disapproval.

The Birmingham Library delays plans to close four branches after city officials protest

The Birmingham Public Library Board of Trustees has delayed a proposed vote to shut down four library branches after receiving criticism from city leaders, including Mayor Randall Woodfin.

It’s fall break, but these Birmingham students are staying in school

This year, Birmingham City Schools gave students the choice to take a break during the fall intersession or stay in school for extra academic support and enrichment.

UAB Medical School Renamed After $95 Million Donation

The UAB School of Medicine has been renamed the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine after a Dothan eye surgeon donated a record-breaking $95 million to the school.

Bridging The Empathy Gap Between Birmingham Schools And The Community

The interactive art exhibit “All In” put viewers in the shoes of Ramsay High School students.

COVID Policies Vary By School District, Causing Confusion For Parents

The state of Alabama has issued recommendations to school districts on how to handle COVID-19 in the classroom. But many of them are just recommendations, giving districts lots of flexibility in setting their own COVID-19 protocols.

LGBTQ Students Find Hope In New Affirming School: The Magic City Acceptance Academy

The Magic City Acceptance Academy is a new charter school giving LGBTQ students and allies a safe space to learn and be themselves. It's the first school of its kind in the South.

Alabama Names Ashley M. Jones As Its New Poet Laureate

Jones, a Birmingham native, is Alabama's first Black poet laureate and the youngest person to hold the position.

From Optimistic To Anxious: How College Students In The Gulf South Feel About Returning To Campus

College students from Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi share their thoughts as a new school year in the pandemic begins.

Community Weighs In On Education Challenges Ahead Of Birmingham City School Board Elections

As the election for Birmingham City school board approaches, citizens from education and community advocacy groups speak on the problems the new board will face in the midst of a COVID-19.