Education

School Closures and Delays Due to Winter Weather

Many schools across Alabama have announced delays because of snow expected to fall Friday.

Denver or Bust! UAB Solar House Heads to the Rockies for Competition

After a little blood spilled, a lot of sweat poured and a few tears were shed, a team of UAB students, faculty, staff and alumni is in Denver to compete in the 2017 Solar Decathlon.

Alabama Schools Chief Michael Sentance Resigns

After one year on the job, State Superintendent of Education Michael Sentance abruptly resigned Wednesday. His contract had been on the agenda for the State Board of Education meeting scheduled for the following day.

School Closures Due to Irma

School closings due to anticipated severe weather from Hurricane Irma

Trudy Hunter Wants To Tackle Education, Poverty

For Trudy Hunter, a law school grad and a social worker from southwest Birmingham, this run for the city’s top job has been 10 years in the making. She says she wrestled with God about whether to step out on faith and run.

High School Students Track Real Cybercriminals at UAB

What do fake NBA jerseys, black-market pills, and other people's bank data have in common? They’re all available through cybercrime, and they’ve all been tracked by high school students at a weeklong camp at UAB.


Still in Vacation Mode? Tax Holiday Aims to Snap You Out of It

Alabama’s back-to-school sales tax holiday takes place from July 21 - 23. It’s a chance to get folders and highlighters and a lot of clothing tax-free. If it seems awfully early, it’s because it is.

Series Takes On Alabama’s Racial Achievement Gap

African-American students in Alabama tend not to perform as well on standardized tests as their white counterparts. That’s part of the so-called “achievement gap,” one of the most persistent and touchiest issues in education. But a new data-driven series by Al.com, journalism nonprofit Spaceship Media, and teachers from across Alabama aims to explore and find solutions to those disparities.

Investigation Shows State School Board Member Conspired Against Superintendent Candidate

The Alabama Board of Education accepted a report Wednesday that found five people, including a state school board member, conspired to keep a leading candidate from being chosen as state superintendent last year.

Thousands of Students Compete in Birmingham to be Top Speaker

Thousands of high school students are in Birmingham this week for the National Speech and Debate Association’s national tournament. WBHM's Andrew Yeager follows one Alabama student through the competition.

New National Report Critical of School Secession in Alabama

A report out Wednesday says Alabama is at the forefront of a trend: school systems breaking away to form separate districts. According to the report from the national advocacy group EdBuild, almost a quarter of the nation’s school district breakaways since 2000 have happened in Alabama.

Gardendale School Appeals May Delay Pullout from Jefferson County 

The City of Gardendale is expected to take control of the two elementary schools in its city limits on June 1, one of the first steps in pulling away from the Jefferson County School system. But two court filings this week may delay that move.

First Public Charter School Approved for Birmingham

The Alabama Public Charter School Commission voted this month to approve a request to open STAR Academy, which will be the state’s first public charter school and will open in Birmingham. Charter schools are a contentious subject, with both opponents and supporters both citing statistics supporting their opinions.

Birmingham Hires New School Superintendent

Birmingham City Schools have a new leader. The school board voted last night to hire Lisa Herring of Louisville, Kentucky, following days of controversy after no candidates from Birmingham or Alabama were named finalists for the job.

Income Inequality in Birmingham, Alabama

Officials say there are three main obstacles keeping people in Birmingham and Alabama from achieving prosperity: education, poverty and crime. These barriers also contribute to the growing wage gap. WBHM's Esther Ciammachilli talks about this with Nick Patterson, editor of the weekly newspaper Weld.

Questions Remain Following Gardendale Schools Ruling

The Gardendale Board of Education met Tuesday night, one day after a long-awaited order from a federal judge cleared the way for Gardendale to form its own school district apart from Jefferson County. But questions remain like whether the growing city in north Jefferson County can afford to pull out?

Stillman College Determined To Win Financial Struggle

At Stillman, the grass is neatly trimmed and flowers are in bloom. Sorority members cooked out on the campus lawn and there was a symposium in the math and science building. Underneath the manicured exterior, Stillman sits on a mountain of debt – about $ 43 million worth.

What’s Next in Heated Race to Fill Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Post

Esther Ciammachilli talks about what’s next in this saga with Nick Patterson, editor of the weekly newspaper Weld.

Uproar Over Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Search

Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald discusses the search for a new Birmingham City Schools superintendent which has included two candidates dropping out, a lawsuit and a bomb threat.

Birmingham Superintendent Selection Continues After Lawsuit, Bomb Threat

Interim Supt. Larry Contri applied but was excluded because some believed he would retire in June. Contri agreed to a June 2017 retirement last year as part of a lawsuit settlement. But Still said no one asked the interim superintendent about his plans.

Birmingham Board of Ed Members Protest Superintendent Candidates

Members gathered in protest recently after the five finalists for the superintendent position were announced. Among their concerns are the process by which the finalists were chosen and the finalists themselves.

Fourth Graders Witness History as Bentley Exits

Fourth graders from Coosa Christian School in Gadsden were on a field trip to the Alabama Capitol Building as news broke that Governor Robert Bentley would resign.

Woodlawn Students Growing a Healthier Neighborhood

Where some see blight and signs of economic decline, others see potential. Under the flight path of Birmingham’s airport and a stone's throw from busy railroad tracks, almost a dozen Woodlawn High School environmental science students are planting fruit trees. It's part of a partnership between the school, the Woodlawn Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy that's transforming vacant lots into lush landscapes meant to benefit the neighborhood.

Jefferson County School Leaders Relieved After School Taxes Renewed

Education officials in Jefferson County are breathing a sigh of relief after voters approved the renewal of a property tax Tuesday that will provide about $100 million dollars for the county’s 12 public education systems.

Jefferson County Voters Approve Tax Renewal For 12 School Systems

Voters approved the renewal of property taxes supporting all 12 school systems in Jefferson County in a Tuesday election. While only 6 percent of voters went to the polls, education leaders say the election win shows that people in Jefferson County support public schools. Larry Contri, interim superintendent of Birmingham schools, says he wanted to […]

Winning For Wenonah High Basketball Coach Means Triumph On and Off the Court

The Lady Dragons of Birmingham’s Wenonah High School are chasing a fourth girls’ state basketball championship today the at the BJCC. But while these players are looking to triumph with the full court press and clutch shots, their longtime coach, Emanuel “Tubb” Bell is fighting a different battle. Bell has stage 4 lung cancer, but you wouldn’t […]

Talladega College President Addressing Republican Leaders At HBCU Meeting

Hawkins has returned to D.C. this week to talk about improving funding for black colleges, an issue he discussed following his January trip.

NPR’s Joe Palca Takes On Jargon And The Politics Of Science

NPR’s nationally known science correspondent Joe Palca is in Birmingham helping UAB celebrate the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. He stopped by WBHM, where sometimes-science-reporter and full-time-geek Dan Carsen jumped at the chance for an interview. They cover research bias, education, and science illiteracy, but Joe starts by explaining why he does what he does.

Alabama GOP Leader on Trump, Protests and More

There's been no shortage of controversy about President Donald Trump's first days in office, but the Republican grass roots of Alabama generally support what he's done so far. So we checked in with state Republican party chair Terry Lathan to get her perspective.

Achievement, Graduation Rates Top State Superintendent’s Agenda

"There are certain schools, there are certain programs in this state that are as good as you’re going to find in the United States of America. We don’t have enough of them." Michael Sentance.

For Parents of Children with Disabilities, A Question of How Much Is Enough

The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing a decision on whether public schools are doing enough to educate students with special needs. Under federal law, students with disabilities are entitled to a “free appropriate education.” At issue, however, is what constitutes “appropriate”. In Alabama, there are more than 83,000 children with special needs. And for the parents and educators of those children, meeting educational needs is often a struggle.

Digging into the Birmingham City Schools

Weld editor Nick Patterson discusses what's behind some of the Birmingham City Schools' struggles.