Carsen & Ott Talk All Things Alabama Education




90.3 WBHM Birmingham-- Each week, Southern Education Desk reporter Dan Carsen sits down with WBHM's Tanya Ott for an interview on education in Alabama. These regular chats span topics as wide-ranging as the education beat itself. Weapons on campus, creationism in public schools ... nothing is off limits. Now, in addition to all Dan's work, all the Carsen-Ott interviews are available in the same place, right here:


April 3, 2012 -- Carsen & Ott Talk Explosions and Explosive Issues: Several Alabama school communities are reeling after incidents last week shook things up. E.P.I.C. Elementary School in Birmingham had to be evacuated Friday after a propane tank exploded. No one was hurt, but down in Mobile County, a teacher was taken to the hospital after an incident with a student. Nice, tame topics like charter-school propaganda, same-sex prom dates, and Louis Farrakhan round out this week's interview, which ends on a positive note.


March 27, 2012 -- Carsen & Ott Talk Politics, Money, Mercury & Charity: Is the state legislature pitting business incentives against school funding? And why are some Republicans balking at the charter school bill? At least a situation that's literally toxic -- the mercury spill at Putnam Middle in Birmingham -- has been cleaned up.


March 13, 2012 -- Carsen & Ott Talk Weapons, Awards, Retirement Benefits, & Corporate Incentives: This week's chat touches on the positive, the negative, and the in-between, or at least the "in the eye of the beholder": politics once again makes an appearance.


March 6, 2012 -- Carsen & Ott Talk Storm Damage, Budgets, and Public Servant Salaries: Severe thunderstorms, hail, and multiple tornadoes raked Alabama last week. Were any schools hit? And are there figurative storms on the horizon for the state's Education Trust Fund? In this fifth installment of a weekly series, WBHM's Tanya Ott starts the interview by asking about storm damage and an incredible recovery. The education budget may not be so lucky.


Feb. 28, 2012 -- Carsen & Ott Talk Syringes, Pistols, and Space Archaeology: Alabama legislators have their hands full with a variety of education bills, including ones that would authorize charter schools and offer credit for creationism classes for public high schoolers. But for this week’s chat with Southern Education Desk reporter Dan Carsen, we move outside of Montgomery for some interesting education news. He tells WBHM’s Tanya Ott that some of it is positive, some of it not – beginning right here in Birmingham.


Feb. 21, 2012 -- Carsen & Ott Talk Charters, Creationism, Pepper Spray: When it comes to education in Alabama, it's safe to say there's enough going on to keep a journalist busy. In our third installment of a new weekly series, Southern Education Desk reporter Dan Carsen sits down with WBHM News Director Tanya Ott to break down some of it.


Feb. 14, 2012 -- Carsen & Ott Talk School Budgets, Caffeine, Controversy: It’s week two of the 2012 legislative session in Alabama and job creation and budget shortfalls continue to take center stage. Officials predict a budget gap in the many hundreds of millions of dollars – meaning cutbacks, possible layoffs, and other belt-tightening measures. WBHM’s Dan Carsen of the Southern Education Desk tells Tanya Ott that the budget crisis in non-education departments could pit the Education Trust Fund against everything else.


Feb. 7, 2012 -- Legislative Preview: Carsen & Ott Talk about Potentially Game-Changing Legislative Session: When lawmakers returned to Montgomery for the beginning of the 2012 legislative session, they had a lot of meaty issues to deal with, from tweaks to the state's immigration law to a potential $400 million budget shortfall. They're also tackling several education reform initiatives, and as the Southern Education Desk's Dan Carsen told WBHM's Tanya Ott, this year looks to be a lot like last year, with plenty of controversial issues on the table.



-Top photo by K. T. King, courtesy of Flickr