MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen recently appeared as a guest journalist on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” a highly regarded program analyzing the week’s significant stories. Among other things, Dan discusses the controversial Alabama Accountability Act, which will be a subject of debate in the final session of the state legislature today as lawmakers address Governor Robert Bentley’s call to delay establishing tax credits for families sending students to private schools.
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Imagine a school in a poor, crime-ridden neighborhood – discipline problems, dismal reputation, among the worst test scores in Alabama. That was Mobile’s George Hall Elementary in 2004. Now imagine a school known nationwide for innovative teaching and high performance.That’s George Hall Elementary now. In Part IV of our series on “Turnaround Schools,” we find out how they did it.
Sometimes, poorly run disadvantaged schools defy the statistics and turn themselves around. Sometimes, they can even rise so high they become national models for education in any neighborhood. In the conclusion of our series on “Turnaround Schools,” we pick up the story of an elementary school that did just that. How did it happen? It wasn’t easy, but persistence, teamwork, and a belief in the students won out.
In developments that many saw coming, the Alabama state education department is seizing control of Birmingham City Schools. Southern Education Desk reporter Dan Carsen attended the late-night meeting and has has this breaking web-exclusive from Birmingham.
The Alabama education beat is churning. The problems on the Birmingham Board of Education have risen to the level of national news, and educators worried about everything from charter schools to budget cuts are raising their concerns, loudly. Southern Education Desk reporter Dan Carsen talks with WBHM’s Tanya Ott about all this and more, starting with the big unfolding story: the drama surrounding the Birmingham Board of Education and the superintendent whom five board members tried to fire.
Several Alabama school communities are reeling after incidents last week shook things up. E.P.I.C. Elementary School in Birmingham had to be evacuated Friday after a propane tank exploded. No one was hurt, but down in Mobile County, a teacher was taken to the hospital after an incident with a student. Nice, tame topics like charter-school propaganda, same-sex prom dates, and Louis Farrakhan round out this week’s interview, which ends on a positive note.
Each week, WBHM-Birmingham’s Tanya Ott interviews SED reporter Dan Carsen about what’s happening on the Alabama education beat. This week’s chat spans guns on campus, nationally recognized teachers, pension benefit cuts, and corporate tax incentives.