INTERVIEW: Co-Author Of National Report On Boards’ Effects On Academics
A typical day at Jones Valley Teaching Farm in Birmingham. Contributed photo.
Louisiana Act 1: “Still Unconstitutional”
Birmingham and Alabama Teacher of the Year Alison Grizzle. Alabama State Department of Education photo.
Alabama / Audio / Special Coverage INTERVIEW: Co-Author Of National Report On Boards’ Effects On Academics

INTERVIEW: Co-Author Of National Report On Boards’ Effects On Academics

Across the country, school boards have been losing power to state and federal authorities, and some experts see local boards as increasingly ineffective. But last month the Fordham Institute, an education policy think tank, released a national report on the influence of school board leadership. According to the report, local boards actually do impact student achievement. Given recent events in Birmingham City Schools and other systems across the Southeast, our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen caught up with co-author Arnold Shober, who says the overall vision of a school board is key, as is the way members are elected.

Good Teaching Series / Public Insight Network Join The Conversation: “What Is Good Teaching?”

Join The Conversation: “What Is Good Teaching?”

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.

Resources / What You Need To Know What You Need To Know: Summer Learning Loss

What You Need To Know: Summer Learning Loss

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.

American Graduate / Multimedia / Tennessee / Video American Graduate: High School`s `College Zone` Gets Students On Track

American Graduate: High School`s `College Zone` Gets Students On Track

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.

Recent Posts

INTERVIEW: Co-Author Of National Report On Boards’ Effects On Academics
Alabama / Audio / Special Coverage

INTERVIEW: Co-Author Of National Report On Boards’ Effects On Academics

Across the country, school boards have been losing power to state and federal authorities, and some experts see local boards as increasingly ineffective. But last month the Fordham Institute, an education policy think tank, released a national report on the influence of school board leadership. According to the report, local boards actually do impact student achievement. Given recent events in Birmingham City Schools and other systems across the Southeast, our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen caught up with co-author Arnold Shober, who says the overall vision of a school board is key, as is the way members are elected.

A typical day at Jones Valley Teaching Farm in Birmingham. Contributed photo.
Alabama / Audio / Special Coverage / Uncategorized

INTERVIEW: Head Of Urban Teaching Farm On “Sustainability” Education

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.

Louisiana State Capitol
Audio / Louisiana / Multimedia / States

Contending Over Common Core

Louisiana lawmakers reject efforts to back away from Common Core.

Teachers protest ed reforms at state capitol in March 2012
Audio / Louisiana / Multimedia / States

Louisiana Ed Reform Do-Over

Decisions in the lawsuits against Louisiana’s 2012 education reforms are setting up a “do-over” battle in the upcoming legislative session.

Louisiana Act 1: “Still Unconstitutional”
Audio / Louisiana / Multimedia

Louisiana Act 1: “Still Unconstitutional”

A Louisiana District Court judge again rules the so-called “teacher tenure law” is unconstitutional.

Birmingham and Alabama Teacher of the Year Alison Grizzle. Alabama State Department of Education photo.
Alabama / Audio

INTERVIEW: Alabama’s Outspoken Teacher Of The Year

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.

Challenging work brings out a range of emotions in a technology class at Phillips Academy in downtown Birmingham. Photo by Dan Carsen.
Alabama / Audio / Poverty / Race / Special Coverage

Birmingham Schools, Takeover To Today, Part 3: Turning A Corner? Looking Ahead

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, [...]

"I get it" lightbulbs are lit in this technology class at Phillips Academy in downtown Birmingham. Photo by Dan Carsen.
Alabama / Audio / Poverty / Race / Special Coverage

Birmingham Schools, Takeover To Today, Part 2: A View From The Classroom Level

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.

State schools chief Tommy Bice (center right), Birmingham Mayor William Bell (lower left) and other area leaders look on with concern at a contentious April 2012 board meeting that helped trigger state intervention. Photo by Dan Carsen.
Alabama / Audio / Poverty / Race / Special Coverage

Birmingham Schools, Takeover To Today, Part 1: The Run-Up To State Intervention

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.

Some of the youngest protesters at an August Hoover, Ala. school board meeting. The board, speaking through its lawyer, then said members were studying other cost-cutting options but would not rescind their July vote to end busing. That changed recently. Photo by Dan Carsen.
Alabama / Audio / Race

INTERVIEW: Trisha Powell Crain On Hoover Schools Reinstating Buses

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.

Host Don Daily (left), Dan Carsen (center), and John Archibald discuss trends in student poverty on APTV's "Capitol Journal."
Alabama / Audio / Video

Carsen On Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal”

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: Terrorism Expert Randall Law
Alabama / Audio

INTERVIEW: Terrorism Expert Randall Law

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.

Auburn University Pioneers Super-Acute Bomb-Sniffing Dogs
Alabama / Audio

Auburn University Pioneers Super-Acute Bomb-Sniffing Dogs

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.

Lessons in Cherokee Teach More Than Language
Audio / Multimedia / Tennessee

Lessons in Cherokee Teach More Than Language

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.

Money Tight, Scientist Turn To “Crowdfunding” Research
Alabama

Money Tight, Scientist Turn To “Crowdfunding” Research

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.