Issues & Ales: The Future of Education in Alabama

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This year, the Alabama Legislature voted to allow charter schools in the state and expanded the Alabama Accountability Act. What does this mean for the future of Alabama’s public and private schools? Can public education adequately prepare all Alabama children for career success?

Join WBHM for Issues & Ales: The Future of Education in Alabama, to discuss the direction education is — and should be — taking in our state.


November 5, 2015
Doors open at 5:30
Program starts at 6


500 23rd Street South
Birmingham, AL

The event is free, and food and beverages will be available for purchase from Greg’s Hot Dogs and Workplay.

Panelists include:

J.W. Carpenter, executive director of the Birmingham Education Foundation. Carpenter was the founding executive director for Teach For America Alabama. He serves on the boards of A+ Education Partnership, Operation Hope–Alabama, and Youth Entrepreneur Labs.

Brooke Elliott, Jemison High School teacher. Elliott has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a masters in technical education. She has more than 15 years experience teaching computer applications and career preparedness.

Rev. John McDonald, director of Catholic Education and Lifelong Formation for the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama, Catholic Schools. Fr. McDonald is also the President of John Carroll Catholic High School and currently serves as the pastor of St. Aloysius in Bessemer.

Aubrey Miller, president of the Shelby County School board, has served as director of tourism for the State of Alabama. Most recently he served as executive director for the Alabama Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He is also an ordained minister and pastor of Faith Church in Oxmoor Valley.

Claire Rivas, a home-schooled freshman from Trussville. Rivas is a competitive ice skater who also studies piano and plays the violin. Claire loves astronomy and photography and is an avid reader.

Elliott Spillers, Student Government Association President at the University of Alabama. Spillers, a senior at the university, is a graduate of Pelham High School.

Jerry Tate, president of the Phillips Academy PTA and third vice president of the Birmingham Council of PTAs. He has one daughter currently enrolled in Birmingham schools and another daughter in the Alabama School of Fine Arts.

Dr. Deborah L. Voltz, dean of the School of Education, director of the Center for Urban Education, and professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

If you have questions or would like more information about this event, please call Audrey Atkins at 205-934-0130 or email her at [email protected]. We look forward to seeing you!


Audrey Atkins

Audrey Atkins

Director of Community Engagement