Special Coverage

Kindergartner Emarie puts paint supplies away at Central Park School For Children in Durham, North Carolina. The charter school promotes a hands-on, project-based curriculum. Credit: Reema Khrais/WUNC.
Matters of Choice / North Carolina

Matters of Choice: Race, Economics and Choice in North Carolina

In North Carolina, students get their choice of charter schools, but those schools are increasingly divided by race. In this southern state where some of the nation’s most noted school desegregation battles were waged, a recent Duke University study shows that many schools are either predominantly white or predominantly minority. Reema Khrais of WUNC reports on efforts to change that trend.

Florida children participate in a rally in 2014  against the decision of a coalition of groups to sue over that state’s Tax Credit Scholarship program. Credit: Lynn Hatter, WFSU
Florida / Matters of Choice

Matters of Choice: Florida — A Hot Spot for School Choice

WFSU-FM’s Lynn Hatter takes a look at the decades-long movement that is school choice in Florida, one of the nation’s hot spots for school choice programs. While many ideas may have originated in other states, Florida has adopted them and created a massive alternative system.

Students at Renew Cultural Arts Academy return to class after their morning "value summit." Credit: Mallory Falk.
Louisiana / Matters of Choice / Uncategorized

Matters of Choice: New Orleans – The Choice Epicenter

Most Southern states allow for some form of school choice – magnet schools, vouchers for private schools, charter schools and more. How do these options affect learning, school demographics, and student success? We explore Matters of Choice beginning with this report from WWNO’s Mallory Falk in New Orleans.

Screenshot. Credit: NPT
Teaching Tough Topics / Tennessee

Teaching Tough Topics: NPT Reports

What should school children be taught about Islam, the Confederacy and other topics that are sensitive to some in our society? NPT Reports looks at how curriculum standards are set in Tennessee and why state officials are implementing new procedures to address public concerns.

Credit: Mallory Falk/WWNO.
Louisiana / Teaching Tough Topics

Teaching Tough Topics: Teaching Beyond The Test

Civil Rights. Voter ID Laws. Felon Rights. These topics aren’t foreign for teachers and students in Southern classrooms. But what happens when pressure to teach to the test prevents challenging conversations?

Credit: Sandra Knispel.
Mississippi / Teaching Tough Topics

Teaching Tough Topics: Teaching Civil War History In Mississippi As Symbols Fall

In Mississippi, the Civil War still stirs emotions. It’s not so much that teachers disagree on how it should be taught, but that ongoing attempts by the University of Mississippi and several cities across the South to shed Confederate symbols have called up old ghosts.

This textbook is used by some Tennessee Schools to teach students about Islam. Credit: Chas Sisk/WPLN.
Teaching Tough Topics / Tennessee

Teaching Tough Topics: Textbook Fight Riles Tennessee

What should school children be taught about Islam? In Florida and North Carolina, parents claim students are being “indoctrinated” with a sanitized version of the Muslim faith. One of the fiercest fights so far is happening right now in Tennessee. As Chas Sisk of WPLN reports, it could reveal the playbook for future battles.

Time for serious discussion in JohnMark Edwards' eighth-grade social studies class at Phillips Academy in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Dan Carsen.
Alabama / Teaching Tough Topics

Teaching Tough Topics: The Real History of the South

Teaching subjects that trigger strong emotions and political divides is challenging. In the South, many of those fault-lines — racial, religious and otherwise — are intimately tied to its history. This week the Southern Education Desk is exploring how teachers tackle tough topics. Our Alabama reporter starts with an overview of some the major challenges, and some of the ways teachers can get around them. Please note this report contains language some might find offensive.