J.F. Ingram State is a unique part of Alabama’s two-year college system because one hundred percent of its students are incarcerated. Its new pilot program at Julia Tutwiler Prison focuses on life skills, not just vocational training. As part of WBHM-Birmingham’s prison-reporting partnership with Alabama Media Group’s Investigative Journalism Lab, our Dan Carsen spoke with Ingram State counseling coordinator Rick Vest outside Ingram’s Tutwiler campus. Vest says learning job skills isn’t enough.
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Teachers from across Alabama recently gathered in Birmingham to discuss a troubling statewide trend. According to The Southern Education Foundation, 40 percent of Alabama’s students failed to graduate in 2010. Alabama Public Television is working hard to raise awareness and combat the problem. Through an American Graduate grant, APT hosted a teacher town hall event for teachers to come together to discuss the dropout rate and raise solutions.
Birmingham law enforcement officials are stressing the importance of early education. Police Captain Henry Irby and Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls recently visited the Festival Head Start center to spread an important message— invest more in kids. And officials believe this will in turn lead to less crime.
Educators recently gathered at Minor High School in Alabama — a school where significant changes are taking place. The ultimate goal is to help every child succeed through better-trained teachers. The school district is already seeing a positive change after two years.
Educators from around Alabama traveled to the rural Piedmont school district last week to see firsthand, how it is empowering its students with 21st century skills. Through an initatiave called MPower Piedmont, students in grades 4 through 12 are given their own laptop to use in class and take home.
There’s a lot happening on the Alabama education beat right now. The state legislature is in its last week, with controversial charter school bills and more hanging in the balance. The Department of Justice is concerned with the lingering effects of Alabama’s immigration law on Latino students, the vast majority of whom are legal. And of course, there are people of all ages doing great things. WBHM’s Tanya Ott interviews SED reporter Dan Carsen in this week’s installment of “All Things Alabama Education.”