Birmingham Education Foundation
The Birmingham Education Foundation (nicknamed Ed) is an organization which supports improvements in the Birmingham City Schools system. It is headed by executive director Michael Froning, who is set to retire July 1, 2013. The group was patterned after the Mobile Area Education Foundation which has been successful in South Alabama.
The organization, founded in 2008, grew out of the planning efforts of the Yes We Can! Birmingham campaign, which was launched in 2007 by the Birmingham Business Leadership Group and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. The group's marketing efforts have been helped by a year's worth of pro bono advertising and design services from Cayenne Creative.
The foundation outlined four major goals for its efforts with the system:
- Implementing a program to promote parent involvement (based on the "Parent University" in place in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina school system)
- Supporting the creation of career-focused high school programs using programs from the National Academy Foundation and International Baccalaureate
- Offering more opportunities for professional development to administrators and teachers
- Preparing students for Advanced Placement coursework in grades 6-8 with the "Laying the Foundation" program.
In August 2011 the foundation held a series of public meetings to report on progress. Implementation of a Parent University was beginning. Career academies were under way at city high schools, with sponsorship from local businesses secured by the foundation. Professional learning communities were being formed at each school and teachers were being trained to increase advanced placement opportunities.
- Hansen, Jeff (August 13, 2011) "Yes We Can! Foundation to report on Birmingham schools campaign progress." The Birmingham News
- Underwood, Madison (April 8, 2013) "Birmingham Education Foundation executive director Mike Froning to retire in July." The Birmingham News
- Worthy, Ariel (August 4, 2016) "Birmingham Ed Foundation officials excited about new school year." Birmingham Times
- Birmingham Education Foundation website