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.Read more...
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.Read more...
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.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.
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.
Since before the recession, the number of dollars Alabama spends per student has dropped more than it has in any other state. Percentage-wise, Alabama’s decrease was second only to Oklahoma’s. That’s all according to a recent report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen caught up with Alabama schools Chief of Staff Craig Pouncey to find out why, and what it all means.
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.
In case you missed this recent national story: Lots of young people who love animals want to be veterinarians, but vet school is demanding and expensive. And the work is less “cute and cuddly” than many realize. Even so, there are more vets than there’s work for them to do. Our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen starts this story from an Auburn University “vet camp” that may be part of the solution. *With previously unpublished photos. WARNING: Some viewers may photos disturbing.
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.
Pompe disease is a rare and often fatal illness that attacks the heart and skeletal muscles. Many people with the early onset form don’t survive past childhood. But just north of Birmingham, there’s an eighteen-year-old who’s not only surviving, but thriving in ways no one would have predicted, and it’s not just because of the technology that connecting his mind to the outside world. He recently graduated from high school, and as our Alabama reporter Dan Carsen tells us, that’s just part of the story.
Children in foster care often face substantial hurdles long before they’re old enough to apply to college. And the obstacles don’t disappear for the students who make it to campus. In this three-part series, The Southern Education Desk explores the journey from foster care through college in the South.
Whether it’s summer, spring, or fall term, some young people have trouble adjusting to campus life. College students coming from foster care face extra hurdles: 70 percent want to get a degree, but roughly three percent graduate by age 25. For the third and final part of our series “From Foster Care To College: Extra Help For Extra Hurdles,” reporter Dan Carsen recently went to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa to learn about a new program that’s trying to better the odds.
Many recent high school graduates are packing away caps and gowns and getting ready for college. But new research shows most kids who grow up in foster care don’t attend college – and those who do are less likely to graduate. In our From Foster Care to College series, Part One, we met Briyana Dunn, who was attending college through a Tennessee Department of Children’s Services program. Southern Education Desk reporter Christine Jessel catches up with Dunn to see how she’s doing nearly a year after starting college.
When foster care kids turn 18, in many states, they’re basically on their own. They have to find a job – figure out how to get there – pay rent, groceries, utilities and insurance … all the things that come with adult life. And these kids are often unprepared. Another thing they’re not ready for: College. Some states have special programs to support foster care kids who want to go to college. In the first part of our series “From Foster Care To College,” Southern Education Desk reporter Christine Jessel introduces us to a young woman who got a state scholarship to attend college last fall.