Barbara Cooper

Barbara Cooper

Emails show weeklong gap between removal of Pre-K manual, departure of Pre-K director

BY: - September 28, 2023

When Gov. Kay Ivey forced the resignation of Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education Secretary Barbara Cooper last April, she cited the department’s use of a teacher manual that encouraged teachers to be understanding of preschoolers’ experiences.  But emails and documents obtained through a public records request by the Alabama Reflector showed Cooper directed the […]

A group of small children with a teacher sitting on floor and learning about space together at kindergarten.

Alabama expands pre-kindergarten program to ‘high need’ areas

BY: - June 20, 2023

Alabama’s pre-kindergarten program will add 69 new classrooms in 30 counties, according to a news release from Gov. Kay Ivey’s office Tuesday. The expansion will add seats for more than 1,200 students. “Ensuring our youngest learners have a strong start to their educational journeys is one of my top priorities for my second term,” Ivey […]

Gov. Kay Ivey with hand over her heart

Alabama Pre-K thrived outside of politics. Then Kay Ivey dragged it in

BY: - May 1, 2023

Living in Alabama means seeing our state rank high on lists we’d rather not be on.  Infant mortality. Heart attacks. Homicides.  And we’re used to seeing the state rank low on lists people value.  Per-student spending. Educational attainment. Standardized testing.  So it’s natural to celebrate those rare moments we end up on top of something […]

Gov. Kay Ivey waving a t crowd

Gov. Kay Ivey says ouster of Pre-K secretary was about ‘basics’

BY: - April 27, 2023

Gov. Kay Ivey said Thursday that her ouster of Barbara Cooper as Secretary of the Department of Early Childhood Education was a desire to focus on “basics.” In her first remarks since ousting Cooper last week over a book for teachers, the governor said she objected to the book’s encouragement of teachers being mindful of […]

Gov. Kay Ivey with hand over her heart

Gov. Kay Ivey’s dismissal of Early Childhood Education secretary brings criticism

BY: - April 25, 2023

Educators and members of the Legislature Monday sharply criticized Barbara Cooper’s forced resignation as Secretary of the Department of Early Childhood Education. Gov. Kay Ivey forced Cooper out on Friday, claiming that the program was using a book with “woke” concepts. An Alabama Reflector review of the book found that it encouraged teachers to be […]

A woman facing the camera smiling.

Ivey forces Early Childhood Education Secretary to resign over teacher training book

BY: - April 21, 2023

Gov. Kay Ivey Friday forced Secretary of Early Childhood Education Barbara Cooper to resign over a book designed to train teachers to be aware of the different backgrounds and challenges of their students. In a Friday afternoon news release, Gina Maiola, communications director for the governor’s office, said Ivey had accepted Cooper’s resignation after learning […]