Credit: LA Johnson / NPR
Alabama / Audio

Alabama Admits Its High School Graduation Rate Was Inflated

Alabama boosted its graduation rate with questionable methods and now faces federal and state audits. It’s hard to know yet how far off the rate is.

A federal judge is deciding whether Gardendale High School and other schools in the city can pull out of the Jefferson County School System to become part of an independent city school district. Credit: Mark Almond.
Alabama / Audio

Federal Judge Weighs Decision On Independent School System for Gardendale

Federal Judge Madeline Haikala is considering whether Gardendale can pull out of the Jefferson County system & start its own without violating civil rights.

"Mr. Fred" Oliver, 86, after a morning of improving his reading and writing at the Literacy Council of Central Alabama. Credit: Dan Carsen / WBHM.
Alabama / Audio

A Conversation with “Mr. Fred,” 86-Year-Old Learning to Read

Fred Oliver of Birmingham is 86 and a world traveler. He loves to visit far-off places, but his latest odyssey is close to home at the Literacy Council of Central Alabama: he’s learning to read and write.

Learner Janie Morgan, left, and volunteer tutor Judy Hickman take a quick break from lessons at the Literacy Council in downtown Birmingham. Credit: Dan Carsen / WBHM
Alabama / Audio

Fighting Adult Illiteracy, One Reader at a Time

A 25-year-old Birmingham-based nonprofit and United Way agency is working with about 150 people who realize “You’re never too old to learn. And you’re never too old to learn how to read better. And do better in your life.”

Supporters of the former superintendent displayed these, but they were outnumbered in the crowd and on the school board. Credit: Dan Carsen / WBHM
Alabama / Audio

Birmingham School Board Ousts Superintendent

After a heated meeting on September 23, the board surprised many by voting 6-3 to fire Kelley Castlin-Gacutan. “Dr. G” had held the position for 14 months.

Screenshot of EdBuild map.
Alabama / Race

Study of School District Borders Shows US, AL Economic Segregation

A wide body of research shows that students in poor school districts face real disadvantages. But the way the U.S. funds schools creates pockets of poverty right next to enclaves of wealth.

The Alabama State Board of Education. Credit: ALSDE.

State Board Taps Consultant for New Schools Chief

It took repeated tries, but today the state school board named Michael Sentance, a consultant and formerMassachusetts Secretary of Education, its choice to be new Alabama Superintendent.

Brett William Kirkham, 40. Credit: Tuscaloosa County Jail.

JeffCo Schools Personnel Director Faces Federal Child-Porn Charges

Brett William Kirkham already faces charges that include having sex with a student. Now he faces federal child pornography charges too. Joyce White Vance, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, today announced the indictment.