In the middle of urban Birmingham, there’s a farm. Jones Valley Teaching Farm is an education center offering students and families gardening, nutrition courses, fresh food, and much more. With Earth Day and Arbor Day coming up, our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen sat down with its Executive Director, Grant Brigham. Dan starts off by asking Brigham if he sees the farm playing a part in Birmingham’s long-term sustainability.Read more...
A Louisiana District Court judge again rules the so-called “teacher tenure law” is unconstitutional.Read more...
Alison Grizzle isn’t your typical teacher, or even your typical Alabama Teacher of the Year. The Birmingham City Schools math instructor is known for being very outspoken, even on third-rail issues like standardized testing and the Common Core State Standards. We thought we’d share her thoughts on those issues and more as staff and students return to school routines. Our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen recently caught up with Grizzle at an education conference where she was giving talks. But it turns out this award-winning teacher almost didn’t become a teacher at all.Read more...
Please help public media stations across the South better understand a very basic question – What is good teaching? Share your knowledge and insights on what you think makes a good teacher here.
Summer learning loss occurs in most children who are not actively learning during the summer months. This loss of information is usually greater in children from low-income families, but experts say there are potential solutions – if political will can be found to support them.
A new college-readiness program is trying to help inner-city, urban students make their way to the top. So far the results are promising.
Birmingham, Ala.– The Alabama State Department of Education’s intervention team has left Birmingham City Schools. ALSDE staff are approving local board agendas and monitoring finances from Montgomery. A year and a half after the state first took the reins, the local board is quietly going about its business. As 2014 approaches, [...]
In any big institution, good things are usually happening even when problems get the attention. This week we’re airing and publishing a three-part “status update” on Birmingham City Schools, from the state takeover to today. Yesterday, Part One explored some of the reasons why the state intervened and the district could lose accreditation. Today in Part Two, our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen talks with teachers, parents, and students to get a different view — a view from the ground level.
The Alabama State Department of Education’s intervention team is now monitoring Birmingham City Schools from afar, a year and a half after it first took control of the city school system. The district had been facing major challenges, including a board so dysfunctional it made national news. But that’s only part of the picture. In this first of a three-part series, our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen delves into the complex and often painful situation leading to state intervention.
There’s been a victory of sorts for parents whose children ride school buses in Hoover, Alabama. In July, the school board got national attention and angered many residents by voting to scrap the sprawling district’s busing program starting next school year. But after intense community pressure and input from the Justice Department, the board unanimously reversed itself last week. Shortly after, our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen caught up with Trisha Powell Crain, a Hoover parent and longtime education policy writer. Though she has some misgivings, she calls the school-board reversal a good example of what persistent community organizing can accomplish.
Our 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. Dan, host Don Daily, and opinion writer John Archibald discuss HeadStart, troubling economic trends in American public education, the controversy at Alabama State University, and more.
INTERVIEW: Recently our Alabama reporter needed a terrorism expert for a story, so he sat down with Birmingham-Southern College’s Randall Law, an author and terrorism historian. Their widespread conversation covered profiling, politics, the psychology of terror and more. It starts with Dr. Law’s thoughts on new super-sensitive dogs that can track bombs as they’re being transported.
Three years ago, after spending almost nineteen billion dollars on hi-tech research, the Pentagon found the best bomb-detection devices in existence are dogs’ noses. But researchers at Auburn University are trying to make them even better. They’ve developed a new type of bomb-sniffing K-9 called a “VaporWake” dog. Our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen has more on this new tool in the anti-terrorism arsenal.
Two hundred and 29 million people speak English in the United States. Around 35 million speak Spanish, and roughly 3 million speak Chinese. But in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, there are only a few hundred people left speaking a language and dialect that was once heard across a wide part of the South.
In the past decade, it’s gotten much harder for scientists to get the federal grants that fund the vast majority of American research. This year’s sequester has made it even more difficult, and the government shutdown is likely to slow things down even further. So scientists are looking for new ways to pay for their work, including “crowdfunding.” But going online and asking the public for money has real drawbacks. Even so, as Alabama reporter Dan Carsen tells us, some think it could open up the field in a good way.