Articles written by: Dan Carsen

Dan Carsen is our reporter stationed at WBHM in Birmingham. He’s been a teacher, a teacher trainer, a newspaper reporter, a radio commentator, and an editor in an educational publishing house. His writing and reporting have won numerous awards. His outside interests include basketball, kayaking, sailing, mountain biking, and hoping his toddlers let him sleep.

Riggins School, with Walter Coke plant in background. Photo by Dan Carsen.
Alabama / Audio

Poor Neighborhoods, Polluted Schools

While data piles up, students still going to school in Alabama and beyond.

Alabama / Audio

Teach For America in Alabama: A Report Card

Everyone knows that schools report on student progress at regular intervals. The national service program Teach For America, or “TFA,” has now been in Alabama for one full school year. And as it gears up to send our state more than 50 new teachers, it makes sense to ask, how are they doing? What grades would Alabama’s Teach For America teachers get on their report cards? Dan Carsen, who was a TFA teacher 15 years ago, asked around for the Southern Education Desk.

Alabama / Audio

Parents Fear Immigration-Law Upheaval in Ala. Schools

Supporters and opponents of Alabama’s new immigration law generally agree it’s the most severe and far-reaching in the nation. Some educators are concerned because the law makes schools determine students’ immigration status, and in some cases, their parents’ immigration status. From the Southern Education Desk at WBHM, Dan Carsen has more:

Alabama / Audio

Driver’s Ed Programs in Decline

If you’re over 40 and you grew up in the United States, there’s a good chance you took driver’s education classes in your high school. But you can’t say the same for today’s young drivers. From the Southern Education Desk at WBHM, Dan Carsen reports on a significant shift.

Alabama / Audio

Alabama State Rep Leaves Republican Party over Education Issues

New Democrat Daniel Boman says teacher tenure bill was “final straw.”

Alabama / Audio

Corporate Tax Loopholes Not Helping Tight Education Budgets

Alabama educators, lawmakers say big-name companies shortchanging students

Alabama / Audio

Parents of Alabama Students Put Property Tax System on Trial

Most court cases focus on a given event – an act, a crime, an accident. But a tax-policy trial in federal court recently put more than a century of Alabama history on the stand. In Lynch vs. Alabama, the plaintiffs allege the state’s property tax system and its effect on schools are direct outgrowths of the overt racism of the past.

Alabama / Audio

SED Reporter Interviews Greg Mortenson

Bestselling author and internationally recognized education advocate Greg Mortenson recently spoke with SED reporter Dan Carsen. The interview took place at Birmingham’s Samford University shortly before media reports questioned Mortenson’s financial dealings and his accounts of his experiences in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In the interview, Mortenson shares his thoughts on issues facing education in the South, including teacher pay and teacher tenure. Mortenson tells Carsen that education is at a turning point in the South and across the U.S.