We are a consortium of public media stations in five Southern states (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee) committed to exploring the challenges and opportunities confronting education in the southern United States in the 21st century. In addition to a well-earned reputation for unbiased, fact-based reporting, our roots are in education. Public media began in education, so you might say it’s in our DNA.

Our mission is to be the place where people come to find useful, practical information on education; a clearinghouse for resources and research, as well as a forum for participation in a reasoned discussion on the challenges of education in the southern United States.

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We will have reporters around the region providing in-depth feature stories on a broad range of education issues, from K-12 to secondary to adult learning along with Race to the Top coverage.

We have chosen education as a topic because the need is glaring. It is often said that education is our future, yet nationally and regionally our education system is struggling, and in many communities, failing outright. The National Assessment of Educational Progress – also known as The Nation’s Report Card – puts Louisiana and Mississippi at or near last place in math and reading. Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee rank in the bottom third. But despite the importance of education, the Brookings Institution says there is currently no national or regional in-depth reporting on educational issues.

It is our aim to fill that gap. In addition to building on our tradition of in-depth, contextual journalism, we will also use the best that new media has to offer, providing a home for user-generated content as well as a place for our communities to find and engage with fresh viewpoints and new sources of information and data.

As a result, the Southern Education Desk partners with all interested members of our communities: individuals, teachers, students, principals and administrators, as well as PTAs, Chambers of Commerce, Social and Charitable Organizations, Research Councils, Colleges and Universities.