Students in Alabama and throughout the South are back in school this month. However, long before the first day of school, hundreds of kids spent part of their summer in labs at UAB. The goal? Getting ahead of the curve in science class.
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More and more people are learning about the risks contact sports pose to the brain. So even here in the football-loving Deep South, parents and young athletes are wrestling with a serious dilemma, one that could affect them decades later: to play or not to play. To help parents facing that decision, our Alabama reporter got some personal perspective from families who’ve already faced sports-related concussions.
The United States locks up people at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world. Some of the most overcrowded prisons are in Alabama. Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women is one of them. It’s also been under federal investigation for sex abuse by guards. But some inmates there have access to a unique state-funded program that offers academics and life skills they’ll need after release. The problem is, this J.F. Ingram State Technical College program, which could ease overcrowding, is struggling for funds. Our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen has this national story, and a full-length interview with J.F. Ingram’s president.
As Barack Obama campaigned his way to the presidency, self-described lily-white writer Tanner Colby began pondering — and then tenaciously researching — exactly why he and other white people didn’t have black friends. The reasons are complex, ranging from school policy to real estate practices to media image-making to church politics. But Colby dives right in from the springboard of his own life, recognizing his ignorance the whole way. The result: “Some of My Best Friends are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America.” Our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen caught up with the author not long after he appeared on MSNBC to discuss America’s persistent racial separation.
Eric Snowden. NSA code-cracking. Chinese government hackers. It’s hard to avoid cybersecurity issues in the news. And many experts think the United States is simply not up to the threats. That’s mainly because there aren’t enough good guys with the skills to do battle in this expanding arena. But there’s a unique partnership in an Alabama school district that’s working to change the scenario. Our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen has more.
Hoover, Alabama’s school board recently voted to end its bus service, effective a year from now. District leaders say they have to cut costs as enrollments rise and revenues fall. But our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen points out, many in this hilly, sprawling suburb don’t believe that’s the whole story.
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.