Dan Carsen

Education Reporter



Dan Carsen is our Southern Education Desk reporter. He’s been a teacher, a teacher trainer, a newspaper reporter, a radio commentator, and an editor at an educational publishing house. His writing and reporting have won numerous regional and national awards. His outside interests include basketball, kayaking, sailing, mountain biking, percussion, and hoping his children let him sleep.

Living History: A Freedom Rider Shares His Story
02-22-2017

The “Freedom Riders” were civil rights activists, black and white, who challenged segregation by riding buses across the South. In 1961 near Anniston, a mob slashed one of those buses’ tires, set it on fire, and beat some of the passengers. Freedom Rider Hank Thomas was one of them.

NPR’s Joe Palca Takes On Jargon And The Politics Of Science
02-9-2017

NPR’s nationally known science correspondent Joe Palca is in Birmingham helping UAB celebrate the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. He stopped by WBHM, where sometimes-science-reporter and full-time-geek Dan Carsen jumped at the chance for an interview. They cover research bias, education, and science illiteracy, but Joe starts by explaining why he does what he does.

She Brought Water to the Freedom Riders: “I Couldn’t Let It Pass”
02-8-2017

There’s a new national monument to the “Freedom Riders, the civil rights activists – black and white – who challenged segregation by riding buses across the South. In 1961, a mob set one of those buses on fire and beat some of the riders. But there’s a lesser-known wrinkle to the story: a little white girl, whose family feared the Ku Klux Klan, brought water to the injured passengers.

Alabama GOP Leader on Trump, Protests and More
02-2-2017

There’s been no shortage of controversy about President Donald Trump’s first days in office, but the Republican grass roots of Alabama generally support what he’s done so far. So we checked in with state Republican party chair Terry Lathan to get her perspective.

Birmingham Board of Education Denies Two Charter School Applications
01-25-2017

After hours of heated speeches, the Birmingham school board unanimously denied two applications for church-backed charter schools Tuesday night. The board itself was unified, but there are clearly real divisions in the community over how best to educate the city’s students.

Community Paramedic Cuts Costs, Keeps People Out of Ambulances
01-18-2017

It’s been said emergency responders’ jobs are 10 percent terror, 90 percent boredom. But there’s a new approach that uses their time more efficiently while improving community health and saving money. It’s called “community paramedicine.”

Many Schools Moving To Active Responses To Gunmen
12-22-2016

The recent attack at Ohio State University is the latest to raise a troubling question: how should schools prepare for dangerous intruders? Many districts are moving away from the standard “lockdown” to more active responses that include fighting back, even against gunmen. But some security experts question that guidance. Joe Hendry is not one of them. […]

Alabama Admits Its High School Graduation Rate Was Inflated
12-19-2016

Alabama boosted its graduation rate with questionable methods — but some policy changes also legitimately boosted the rate. It’s hard to know how wrong it is, pending federal and state audit results.

This Mostly White City Wants To Leave Its Mostly Black School District
12-19-2016

Jefferson County, Ala., schools have been under a desegregation order for decades. Now that a majority-white city wants to form its own district, a judge must decide if it’s violating civil rights.

“Alabama Unity Rally” Peaceful but Fiercely Anti-Trump
11-13-2016

Recent anti-Donald Trump rallies around the nation have been marred by violence. Some feared that would happen in Birmingham, especially after social-media threats. But Saturday night, though hundreds protested, no one got hurt. That’s not to say emotions weren’t high.