Deep concern is growing in the United States that our schools are not preparing a sufficient number of students, teachers, and practitioners in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Studies have shown that a large majority of secondary school students fail to reach proficiency in math and science, and many are taught by teachers lacking adequate subject matter knowledge.
Articles written by: Erica Lembo
Alabama students are officially headed back to school — and a big change may soon be headed their way. State education officials have decided to opt out of the No Child Left Behind Act. Instead of Adequate Yearly Progress standards, they’ve created their own rating system dubbed “Plan 2020.” And officials say this plan will better serve the students and teachers of Alabama.
It’s a new year at Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School in Birmingham— and students are in for a surprise. Thanks to their teachers, they’ll get to spend an entire year learning about creatures that have taken popular culture by storm— vampires.
Teachers from across Alabama recently gathered in Birmingham to discuss a troubling statewide trend. According to The Southern Education Foundation, 40 percent of Alabama’s students failed to graduate in 2010. Alabama Public Television is working hard to raise awareness and combat the problem. Through an American Graduate grant, APT hosted a teacher town hall event for teachers to come together to discuss the dropout rate and raise solutions.
Summer Learning Loss is a serious issue and one that’s been making national headlines lately. Studies have shown that most students lose about two months in math skills over the summer and low-income children lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains. That’s why education officials in state and across the country are stressing the importance of keeping kids engaged over the summer. And one summer camp program in the Birmingham area is doing just that.
One summer enrichment program in Birmingham is making big strides in combating summer learning loss- and it’s part of a national, non-profit organization. Girls Incorporated of Central Alabama serves more than 9,000 Birmingham-area girls ages 6 to 18 with programs focusing on economic literacy, career preparedness and health and wellness.
Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham is trying to keep kids engaged over the summer through its Fresh Air Farm: a six-week learning program that incorporates math, reading AND nature exploration into its studies. And all this takes place on 36 acres of land. So students aren’t just sitting inside classrooms— they actually get to go outside and learn about the outdoors.
Four Alabama High-Schoolers can call themselves National Academic Champions. The JV Scholar’s Bowl Team from The Altamont School in Birmingham recently took first place in the nation’s oldest national academic competition. Teams could choose to compete at 3 different locations: New Orleans, Chicago or Washington D.C.