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Birmingham City Schools Enrollment Shows Slight Increase For First Time In Decades

Something happened in Birmingham schools this year, that hasn’t happened in more than three decades – the system didn’t have a drop in enrollment.

Issues and Ales Extra: How to Help Teachers

  WBHM’s recent Issues and Ales forum delved into the future of education in Alabama. Panelist and Phillips Academy PTA president Jerry Tate took a moment away from the discussion to answer a simple question: “How can someone, who isn’t a teacher, support education?”   Listen to excerpts from Issues and Ales: The Future of Education […]

Highlights From Issues and Ales: The Future of Education in Alabama

This year, the Alabama Legislature voted to allow charter schools in the state and expanded the Alabama Accountability Act. What does this mean for the future of Alabama’s public and private schools? Can public education adequately prepare all Alabama children for career success?

Issues and Ales Extra: Best Teacher Advice

  WBHM’s recent Issues and Ales forum delved into the future of education in Alabama. Panelist and Jemison High School teacher Brooke Elliott took a moment away from the discussion to answer a simple question: “What’s the best piece of advice you received about becoming a teacher?”   Listen to excerpts from Issues and Ales: The […]

Interview: UAB Space Archaeologist and TED Prize Winner Sarah Parcak

To some, the fact that “space archaeology” is actually a thing will come as news. Practitioners use satellite imagery to discover and analyze ancient ruins, and increasingly, to spot looting. University of Alabama at Birmingham archaeologist Sarah Parcak is a leader in the field, and she’s just been named winner of the 2016 million-dollar TED Prize, […]

Phil Hammonds on Bold Goals for Alabama Education’s Future

In advance of WBHM's and the Southern Education Desk's "Issues and Ales" education forum this evening, former Jefferson County School Superintendent Phil Hammonds joined WBHM’s Rachel Osier Lindley to talk about his prescriptions for improving Alabama’s schools and what Bold Goals Education aims to do.

Trisha Powell Crain Talks Money, Politics, and More in Alabama Education

There's never a shortage of stories coming from Alabama's schools. But before WBHM's and the Southern Education Desk's "Issues and Ales" education forum Thursday evening, we wanted to shed as much light as possible on the big picture behind the headlines. For better or worse, that backdrop always includes money and therefore politics. So our education reporter Dan Carsen sat down with Alabama School Connection founder and BirminghamWatch contributor Trisha Powell Crain to talk about that and more.

Dr. Tondra Loder-Jackson, Discusses Impact of Civil Rights On Education

In advance of the WBHM/Southern Education Desk Issues and Ales forum on the future of Education in Alabama, Dr. Loder-Jackson discussed her research on civil rights in Birmingham schools.

Recent Teacher of the Year Resigns in Alabama Over Certification Issues

"After 21 years of teaching in grades 1-6 I have no answers as to why this is a problem now," Ann Marie Corgill wrote, refusing to pay fees and take tests for another state certification.

Long Hours At Work And School Fuel Determination For Stratford High Graduate In Nashville

Though he’s a teenager, Kevin is the man of the house. While in high school, he worked long hours to help out, which made staying in school a struggle. Instead of dropping out, he stuck with it and graduated from Nashville’s Stratford STEM Magnet High School.

Nashville Student Focuses On Graduation at Non-Traditional Academy at Old Cockrill

Dealing with Chronic illness is just one of the issues students can face during school. The resulting stress, absences and falling behind can sometimes make dropping out an attractive option. In this Southern Education Desk series “Back on Track,” Nashville Public Television tells us about Ben, a young man who faces struggles, but is determined to graduate from the Academy at Old Cockrill.

New Orleans’ Posh Academy Helps LGBT Students Complete GED

In it’s series Back On Track, the Southern Education Desk looks at a program in New Orleans that supports some of those students as they work toward a high school degree. The program called Posh Academy, is part of BreakOut, a non profit addressing issues of LBGT youth. WWNO’s Mallory Falk spoke with some of the students, including 23-year-old Lhundyn Fernandez.

Back on Track: Donna Dukes And Sernitria Bell

High school graduates earn about $10,000 more each year than dropouts. And they’ll be less likely to end up in jail, or even suffer some preventable diseases, studies show. But what if students could get back on track before an academic plunge dooms them to a life of less than? The Southern Education Desk, in […]

Study Centers and Counselors Give Student-Athletes Academic Support

Football, basketball, baseball, gymnastics. College sports are a way of life in the South. Fans pack into stadiums or glue themselves to TV's to watch their favorite teams battle it out. But the pressure on a young person to succeed on the field or court is only half the battle. College athletes are also expected to succeed in the classroom.

Athletes And Schools Tackle Tougher NCAA Academic Requirements for Potential D1 Players

When it comes to Division I football, Southern states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana, produce the largest number of recruits per capita. New NCAA rules take effect for college athletes next fall. A 2.0 GPA and a decent ACT score won’t be enough anymore. To avoid the bench, freshmen will have to come in with a 2.3 GPA in core classes — reading, math, science, and social studies. And players in high school — where standards are generally lower — are feeling it.

University of Alabama System Board of Trustees Committee Backs Contract for UAB Football Coach

Members of the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees compensation committee approved a new five-year contract for head UAB football coach Bill Clark Wednesday. UAB President Ray Watts said Clark would remain the Blazers’ coach when Watts announced the team’s reinstatement in June but an agreement did not come for more than three months.

Birmingham School Board Approves Application to Authorize Charter Schools

"In an effort to be a player in this process, we really needed to become an authorizer, so that anyone who is interested in moving forward with a charter school application would have to first come to the school district,” Dr. Kelley Castlin-Gacutan .

Alabama’s Science Standards Get a Makeover

Alabama schools are getting new science standards for the first time in a decade. The state Board of Education voted unanimously today to replace old standards that some teachers say were behind the times the moment they were approved. As evidence, they point to their students’ biology textbooks, many of which currently come with warning […]

Dr. Minda Berbeco On Alabama’s New Science Standards

Alabama’s State Board of Education on Thursday approved new K-12 science standards that will go into effect next school year. Science teachers across Alabama say the new standards are better than the current decade-old ones. We wanted a national perspective too, so WBHM’s Dan Carsen caught up with Dr. Minda Berbeco, Programs and Policy Director for […]

Second Legislative Special Session Starts Tuesday

State lawmakers have hit crunch time. The next fiscal year starts October 1st and the state still does not have a General Fund budget. Lawmakers and Governor Robert Bentley remain at odds over what to do about a more than $200 million budget shortfall. Two legislative sessions have come and gone with without a resolution. So the governor has called another special session to start Tuesday.

Hoover Schools Chief Says No to Becoming Charter Authorizer

“I hold no assumption that there is a charter school entity out there that can do the work better than we’re doing,” says superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy.

Alabama High School ACT Results Show Increases And Some Disparities

Report from ACT reflects academic performance for the first full class of Alabama's graduating seniors taking the college entrance test as an exit exam.

Jennifer Hatchett of YouthServe Talks Youth Empowerment and Radio

Jennifer Hatchett is the Executive Director of Youthserve, a group that empowers youth leadership through community service. The students worked with WBHM this summer to produce their own radio stories. She talked with WBHM's Gina Yu about the program.

First Charter Schools Open In Mississippi; Alabama Charters Could Come Soon

States across the U-S have increasingly been turning to charter schools in an effort to bolster struggling public school systems. Two of the most recent states to adopt the controversial form of education are Mississippi and Alabama. As part of a Southern Education Desk series examining charter schools in the South, we turn to Mississippi Public Broadcasting's Paul Boger for a report on how those states are adopting to the alternative form of public education.

‘Rosenwald’ Celebrates ‘The Greatest Philanthropist You’ve Never Heard Of’

NPR's Robert Siegel interviews Aviva Kempner about her latest documentary on Julius Rosenwald, the successful businessman who helped advance the cause of educating African-Americans in the South.

Paying For Charter Schools In The South

Florida has about 650 charter schools. They are part of school districts but are privately managed and largely free of many of the rules governing traditional public schools. But as enrollment in charters has increased, so has the financial cost. WFSU’s Lynn Hatter reports for the Southern Education Desk that Tennessee and Georgia are also struggling to find ways to support their charter schools.

Getting Parent Buy-In For A New Alternative

The big push for charter schools in Louisiana started after Hurricane Katrina. The state’s Recovery School District took over most of the public schools in New Orleans, and quickly issued charters. The organization has moved on to Baton Rouge, but, without a hurricane scattering teachers and students, charters really have to get parents to buy into the alternative they’re selling.

A Window On Other Arenas: Sports, Race, And More With UAB Sociologist Adrienne Milner

You don’t have to be a scholar to know that African-Americans are heavily represented in contact sports like football and basketball, but underrepresented in “lifetime sports” like tennis or golf. Some casual observers have come up with relatively simple explanations for that phenomenon. But a University of Alabama at Birmingham sociologist and author who studies […]

Lessons For New Orleans

Charter schools are changing American education. Some say for the better, some say the worse. This week the Southern Education Desk looks at the charter school movement throughout the south. We start in New Orleans, the testing ground for the movement.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan Talks About Fixing No Child Left Behind Law

Sherrel Wheeler Stewart talks with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan about education and the hurdles in passing the law this year.

High School Banks On New Focus And Old Identity At Banks Academy In South East Lake

The glory days of Banks High School brought lots of sports championships before the high school closed in 1989. Graduates became lawyers and doctors, preachers and politicians, and almost any other profession you can name. Alumni and supporters are returning to their East Lake home base to continue a legacy at Lakeview Baptist Church on 8th Avenue South.

Upward Bound Takes Students Through High School And beyond

Remember when you could get a job with just a high school diploma? By 2020, it’s projected that 65 percent of jobs will require a diploma, AND, higher education. Upward Bound is more than doubling the chances of low-income, first-generation students graduating and going to college nationwide, including 6,500 in the Deep South. Today, Louisiana Public Broadcasting producers Kevin Gautreaux and Shauna Sanford take a look at this federally funded program and its summer work in Part 3 of the Southern Education Desk’s series on Summer Learning.