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Education

Woodlawn Runner Jayla Kirkland Goes Against the World’s Best In Poland

Jayla’s time of 23.11 in the 200 meters captured first place last month at the prestigious New Balance Nationals Outdoor competition. In that same competition, she placed third in the 100 meter race.

Commentary: Paula Odogwu “…living life as the person I want to be.”

High school is a time when most students get a better idea of who they are, and what they want to be. For commentator Paula Odogwu (oh-DOUGH-goo), that transformation wasn’t easy. But in the end, she found her true self. When I was four years old, my mom, my sister and I left Lagos, Nigeria, and […]

Jefferson County Schools Personnel Director Arrested On Child Sex, Pornography Charges

Authorities continue to investigate claims associated with Brett Kirkham, 39.

TAKING ON TESTS: Atlanta School Students Still Recovering From Cheating Scandal

“We have lots of challenges and skepticism and there will be criticism, but also success is knowing that as we are getting this off the ground and running there are people who are saying this is great I'm glad you are doing something,” Dr. Alicia Hill says.

The Junction: Stories from Ensley, Alabama — Holy Family Cristo Rey High School

Fair or not, the words "Ensley" and "success" don't often appear together in local media reports. But tucked among vacant buildings and weedy lots a few feet from an Interstate, there's a high school with a college acceptance rate most suburban schools would envy. For the latest chapter of "The Junction: Stories from Ensley, Alabama," education reporter Dan Carsen talks with the people making it happen to find out how this school works.

Commentary: She’lah Shreve “Have You Ever Used the F-word?”

With summer underway, some former high school seniors have a few months before they begin college. For commentator She’lah Shreve, there was a time when it looked like he might not even make it to high school graduation. Have you ever used the F-word? I’m talking about the word failure. My name is She’lah and I […]


How REV Birmingham Works With Local Small Businesses

As WBHM explores the Magic City's uneven revitalization, the weekly newspaper WELD continues its look at REV Birmingham, the city's economic development organization. This week, they focus on REV through the eyes of the small businesses it serves. REV launched in 2012 and cites “helping small business owners define and achieve their goals” as one of their core goals. Nick Patterson, editor of WELD, tells WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley what reporters

Birmingham Revitalization: The View from a City School

You could call schools the glue of a community. They're starting points for friendships and networks, and they affect property values and economic development. For our series on revitalization in Birmingham, WBHM's Dan Carsen returns to a redeveloping neighborhood to see how that's playing out in the local school.

Commentary: Berucha Cintron “I Will.”

With area high school graduations this month, some students can find themselves at a crossroads as they determine what's next in their life. For commentator, and high school senior Berucha Cintron, this crossroads took place in the form of a short, emotional conversation she had with her mother several years before.

Legal Expert Talking School Resegregation and More

“Anybody who is concerned about the quality of education our students are receiving in schools should be concerned. Well documented research shows that when schools lack diverse student bodies and when they are segregated, they are less able to provide the full range of benefits that a K 12 education ought to include.”

Birmingham Students Show Presentation Skills, Gain Praise from Condoleezza Rice

“It’s hard to get up in front of a group and sell your ideas. And somebody among this group is really going to be a great entrepreneur,” she says. “You could see that they loved it. They are passionate about it.”

Firm Releases Vestavia Hills HS Rebranding Package

After controversy over a mascot and team-name some call racist, a marketing firm has released its "rebranding package" for Vestavia Hills High School.

Eva Hardy Jones: Powell School’s Legendary Principal

Eva Hardy Jones became principal of Powell School in 1976. Around this time, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places, but it and its students were in need.

Education Secretary John King Talks Graduation Rates, Testing and Education Reform

“We think it’s important that parents and teachers have good information each year about the progress students are making. That information needs to line up with the expectation that when students graduate, they’ll graduate for college and careers.”

MAP: Where Are Birmingham’s Vacant School Buildings?

WBHM's Mary Scott Hodgin recently reported on surplus property owned by Birmingham City Schools. Vacant schools are a common sight throughout Birmingham. The buildings symbolize decades of population decline and budget cuts. As Birmingham's city center and interest in historic properties grows, many hope these large structures will be revitalized. We've created a map showing where these empty schools are located. Take a look.

What to Do With Birmingham’s Surplus Schools?

Vacant schools are a common sight throughout Birmingham. The buildings symbolize decades of population decline and budget cuts. Now, as the city center grows, many hope these large structures will be revitalized.

Bill Would Help Teachers Prevent Teen Suicide

In Alabama, suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth ages 12 to 16. A bill passed by the state legislature that could be signed by the governor would help teachers better prevent these suicides.

New Rebel Logo Part of Vestavia Rebranding

A sports-marketing firm yesterday presented the Vestavia Hills school board with an update that included a new rebel logo. Tensions over the system’s Rebel Man mascot and the name “Rebels” flared up last year. The school board has since ditched the mascot but kept the name. But the system’s rebranding process is ongoing.

Group Looks to Bring “Bible-Based” Classes to Public School Students

School Ministries of Birmingham's goal is to establish Christian-oriented released time education (RTE) programs in high schools in the greater Birmingham area. The group's first program started at Spain Park High School in Hoover in January. Nick Patterson, editor of the weekly newspaper WELD, tells WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley about SMB's plans and the legality of RTE programs. Patterson also discusses the third annual Cahaba Riverkeeper water quality and bacteriological testing program.

Parker High School, Family And Community Helped Propel Top Scientist Dr. Willie May

“Obviously growing up in Birmingham, Alabama in the late 50s and 60s there were barriers, but fortunately I had lots of folks who invested a lot in me and I owed it to them not to allow those barriers to deter me.”

School Funding In Alabama: A View From Sumter County

In more affluent districts, local property tax revenue makes a big difference for schools. But in rural Sumter County, which is mostly farms and timberland, there isn’t much to tax. It’s also hard to raise rates on what is there.

Ala. Legislature Passes Ed Budget, Teacher Pay Raise

The Alabama state legislature today approved an education budget and a teacher pay raise. Conference committees approved the measures Thursday afternoon and Governor Robert Bentley has indicated his support. Assuming he signs the legislation, teachers and other educators making less than $75,000 per year, plus all principals and assistant principals, will get a four percent raise in fiscal […]

State Board of Ed Appoints Dr. Phillip Cleveland Interim Superintendent

Cleveland led the Department of Career and Technical education under former superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice, who retired in March.

Sen. Cam Ward On Bill to Thwart Inappropriate Teacher-Student Contact

Recent reports have referred to Alabama as "ground zero" for incidents of teacher-student sex. Whether that's fair or not, most agree there's a serious problem. So state senator Cam Ward of Alabaster has sponsored a bill to mandate an hour of training for educators on appropriate teacher-student interaction in the age of social media.

Education Superintendent Tommy Bice Ends 39-Year Public Education Career

Bice isn’t leaving the education field. He’s the new education director for Birmingham based Goodrich Foundation.

Taking on Tests: Opting Out in Florida

Millions of Florida’s public school students, from third grade through 12th, are preparing to take the Florida Standards Assessment. The test has drawn scorn from parents, teachers, school administrators, and even lawmakers—yet it remains the main measure of how schools and districts are graded, kids promoted, and teachers evaluated. Lynn Hatter of WFSU reports about how some parents and children are protesting -- choosing a form of civil disobedience by opting out.

Taking on Tests: The Stakes Are High

It’s testing season in schools across the South and around the country. Students are flipping open booklets or logging onto computers to answer math and reading questions. For over a decade, annual standardized testing has been the law of the land. But it’s not without controversy or pushback – and some states and school districts are rethinking their approach.

Fairfield Considers Cutting Police Department to Save Money

The Fairfield City Council recently made an unconventional move: they voted to get rid of their police department in an effort to save money. But some city leaders say it’s a shortsighted response to a big budget problem.

Schools Close Early Because of Severe Weather

A number of Birmingham area schools have announced early dismissals or schedule changes because of anticipated severe weather.

Crime in Greater Birmingham: Literacy as Long-Term Prevention?

Police and prosecutors try to fight crime in the streets and in the courts every day. But how do you fight the long-term root causes of crime? Some people think you do it in small school rooms, one lesson at a time.

In Alabama, Teachers School Lawmakers

The 2016 Teacher of the Year in that state decided it was about time the people who write the laws that affect schools actually see the inside of a classroom.

Three Vestavia Hills High School Students Electrically Shocked

Three students were injured when they came in contact with a live power line at Vestavia Hills High School. Media reports say the students were moving a football goal post Wednesday afternoon when it touched an electrical wire. A school system statement says the accident happened near the football practice field. At least two of […]