Articles written by: Sherrel Wheeler Stewart

Back on Track: Donna Dukes And Sernitria Bell
Alabama / American Graduate / Back on Track

Back on Track: Donna Dukes And Sernitria Bell

The Southern Education Desk, in advance of American Graduate Day on October 3, is highlighting people who got back on track and programs that helped them get there. Today, we highlight two people in Birmingham, Alabama.

Scholars dance out to the beat of "Uptown Funk - Bell Edition." The YMCA of Greater Montgomery Power Scholars Academy Culmination Ceremony was held Friday, July 10, in the auditorium of Carver Elementary School in Montgomery. Credit: Shannon Heupel/Montgomery Advertiser.
Alabama / Summer Learning Series

Summer Learning: Graduation Rates Get Boost Through Summer Learning

National education leaders are trumpeting recent increases in high school graduation rates, yet about 20 percent of kids still dropout before completing high school. That number jumps significantly among the Southern poor in places like Alabama and Mississippi. And it costs money. Dropouts earn less and governments pay more to support them. One possible solution? Make summer a season of learning for students that could help them stay engaged and in school. Sherrel Wheeler Stewart kicks off our series on Summer Learning and its impact high school graduation.

America’s Promise Alliance Focuses On Increasing Graduation Rates
Alabama / Resources

America’s Promise Alliance Focuses On Increasing Graduation Rates

When school bells next month signal the start of another year, millions will head back to class, but others who have dropped out will stay at home. Alma Powell, a Birmingham native and daughter of a former Parker High School principal, leads America’s Promise Alliance. This non profit is focused on increasing the nationwide high graduation rate to 90 percent.

State Actions on Common Core - 2015. Credit: National Conference of State Legislatures (
Alabama / Audio / Common Core Series / Mississippi

Common Core: Challenges and Opposition

As part of a week-long series examining why the public school standards known as Common Core are still so controversial in the South, Sherrel Wheeler Stewart from WBHM in Birmingham explains the roots of the opposition and the challenges the standards face.