Conservatives Rally Against Data Collection Bills

February 24, 2017

By Brandon Moseley

The legislature has returned for another session and some GOP legislators are once again pushing a longitudinal data collection scheme. Once again the primary opponents of this grand scheme are fellow Republicans. On Thursday, February 23 Alabama Eagle Forum led a conservative rally in opposition to the longitudinal data bills, House Bill 97 and Senate Bill 153.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) read a statement from his wife, state school board member Jackie Zeigler (R) vowing to oppose the data collection.
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The irony of righteous indignation

December 16, 2016

Education Matters
By Larry Lee

When State Superintendent of Education Mike Sentance told the State School Board Dec. 8, that the Office of Inspector General of the US Department of Education had determined that the State’s high school graduation rate was inaccurate, reaction was swift and true to form.

Members of the Legislature who consistently oppose public education were quick to tell media that there should be consequences for deceiving the public. (Would this include the 22 senators and 51 house members who voted for the Alabama Accountability Act in 2013 and told the public that this was all about “helping poor kids stuck in failing schools by their zip codes?”)
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Hunter says that graduation rates were misstated

December 12, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, December 9, 2016, Alabama Superintendent of Education Michael Sentance reported to the Board of Education that the State of Alabama has been giving high school students diplomas that they did not really qualify for.

Sentance had to admit that the State was deceiving the students and people of the State after a US Department of Education investigation questioned why Alabama was reporting the highest graduation rate in the entire country without any corresponding improvement in test scores.
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Peters Defends Decision to Hire Sentance

September 12, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, September 8, 2016, the Alabama State School Board approved the contract of Michael Sentance of Massachusetts to be Alabama’s next State School Superintendent. The decision on August 8 to make Sentence, who has never actually been a school superintendent anywhere before, has been wildly controversial. On Friday, September 9, State School Board member Betty Peters (R) defended the decision to select Sentence in a column on the anti-Common Core blog site: Truth in American Education.com.
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The Evolving Story Surrounding Superintendent’s Hiring

September 1, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The selection of Michael Sentance as Superintendent of Education is an evolving story with no end in sight.

Insiders believe Sentance is a useful stooge to give the powers that be an opening to abolish the elected Board of Education, fully implement common core and surrender the State’s education to private enterprise under an Accountability Act 2.0. The move is thought to be the product of a loose confederation between the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), ALFA and Riley Inc.
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Incoming State School Superintendent’s Law License Suspended

August 29, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—In his 2009 application to become Kentucky’s State School Superintendent, Michael Sentance claimed to be a “Highly accomplished Educator with more than 27 years experience and success.”

Sentance received admission to the Massachusetts Bar in 1979, however, according to data provided by the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers of the Supreme Judicial Court dated August 26, 2016, his law license is under administrative suspension. The suspension appears to be for nonpayment of dues.
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Did The Tea Party Get Beat At Their Own Game?

August 16, 2016

Education Matters
By Larry Lee

My friends involved with Tea Party politics in Alabama decidedly favored either Michael Sentance of Massachusetts or Bill Evers of California as the next school superintendent. The reason? They said both were against Common Core standards.

Sentance was selected.

On Aug. 10 board member Matt Brown sent an email across the state saying he had heard a rumor that Tea Party supported state board members were going to support Craig Pouncey. He was directly pointing his finger at board members Betty Peters and Stephanie Bell and not so subtly encouraging people to put pressure on them. Bell and Peters were two of Sentance’s five votes Aug. 11. (Along with Brown, Mary Scott Hunter and Governor Bentley.)
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Online Petition Demands Stop to Non-Educator Hiring

August 15, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—A growing number of individuals are banding together to stop the hiring of a non-educator, who has been chosen to lead Alabama schools.

The online petition is a reaction to the August 11 decision, made by the Alabama Board of Education, to hire Michael Sentance, a former Massachusetts bureaucrat-turned education consultant, to head the Alabama Department of Education. According to the online petition, the Board’s action, “was a hard slap in the face to every educator and concerned public school parent in the State.”
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Bentley Endorses “Every Student Succeeds Act”

December 1, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Monday, November 30, the National Governors Association (NGA) has issued an endorsement of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which could be voted on by the US House of Representatives as early as this week.

robert-bentley2Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) supports the legislation.  Gov. Bentley said in a statement: “Every state, school and classroom needs the certainty and fairness of a flexible education law,” said Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, vice chair of the committee. “We support this bill because it provides governors a central role in implementation and governance and gives us the flexibility to shape our schools and prepare our students from early childhood into the workforce.”
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Leadership Elected For ALSDE Executive Board

July 10, 2013

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY–The Alabama Department of Education Executive Board elected a new Vice President Pro Tem at their monthly Executive Board meeting on Tuesday.

Dr. Charles Elliot (R-Decatur) was elected Vice President Pro Tem, while Ella Bell (D-Montgomery) was reelected as President Pro Tem. Elliot will replace Stephanie Bell (R-Montgomery).

Mary Scott Hunter (R-Huntsville) made the motion to elect Ella Bell as President Pro Tem and Elliot as Vice President, and the motion was seconded by Tracy Roberts (R-Spanish Fort).
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