State Superintendent Michael Sentance Resigns

September 13, 2017
Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentance

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

When the Alabama School Board chose Massachusetts Attorney Michael Sentance to be the Superintendent of Alabama’s school systems it was a controversial choice. That controversy only deepened when it was later learned that a certain member of the school board may have misled the public and the rest of the board about an ethics investigation into fellow candidate, Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Craig Pouncey. The controversy around Sentance’s hiring, the controversial of Montgomery Schools, and a series of lapses in judgement and protocol finally led Sentance to resign today, Sept. 13, 2017.
Read More

In praise of doing what’s right

July 31, 2017

By Larry Lee
Education Matters

Ain’t no way 11 months ago I would ever write what I am now writing. That’s because I had just watched state school board member Stephanie Bell raise her hand on Aug. 11 as one of five votes to hire Mike Sentance as State Superintendent.

I thought then–and still do—it was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen a group of adults do.  Given his lack of qualifications and lack of support from educators, how do you justify selecting him?
Read More

Sources: State Board plans to fire Superintendent Michael Sentance

July 21, 2017
Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentance

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama State School Board plans to fire State Superintendent Michael Sentance, two source close to the board have told APR.

Those sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the board has not officially made a decision, said Tuesday’s meeting, at which board members will discuss an early evaluation of Sentance, is the first step in the process to terminate him.

On Thursday, al.com reported that the evaluation of Sentance – which comes at least three months before his scheduled annual evaluation – came as a surprise to some board members. Board Vice President Stephanie Bell sent the form this week and requested that all members fill out and return the evaluation form by the end of the day on Friday.
Read More

Mary Scott Hunter running for Lt. Governor

June 1, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 State Board of Education member Mary Scott Hunter (R) is running for Lieutenant Governor in the 2018 election.

Hunter told the Alabama Media Group’s Mike Cason that, “I’m just at a place where I want to do something bigger. I want Alabama to be wildly successful.”

Hunter represents DeKalb, Etowah, Jackson, Limestone and Madison counties on the School Board.

Hunter’s father, Scott Hunter, was a quarterback at the University of Alabama under coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. He also played eight years in the NFL.
Read More

Senate committee unable to determine leak of Pouncey ethics complaint

March 6, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — A committee headed by Sen. Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) was unable to get to the bottom of who publicly distributed a letter last summer confirming a complaint against then-State Superintendent candidate Craig Pouncey.

In a presentation to the State Senate on Thursday, Dial said his committee interviewed at least 16 members of the State Board of Education and the Alabama Ethics Commission about the leak. The public leak prompted Pouncey to file a lawsuit for defamation.

Read More

A dumb political scheme

January 19, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Political schemes are dirty.

The backroom dealings, backstabbing, lies, trickery, illegal acts and coverups represent the absolute worst in our government system.

But successful schemes – the ones that deftly block an appointment or shut down a multi-million-dollar deal or backdoor some cash for politician’s brother-in-law, they take smarts.

And that’s what makes this scheme to keep Craig Pouncey from becoming the State’s Superintendent of Schools so offensive – the unbelievable stupidity of it. Read More

More questions on “smear sheet” investigation: Who knew what when?

January 19, 2017

By Larry Lee
Education Matters

More than 40 years ago, the late Tennessee Republican Senator Howard Baker asked during the Watergate hearings, “What did the President know and when did he know it?”

I was reminded of that yesterday, January 18, 2017, as I listened for nearly two hours while Senators Gerald Dial, Quinton Ross, Greg Allbritton, and Rep. Steve Hurst, convened for their third round of questioning of those who could shed light on how an anonymous “smear sheet” became public knowledge, and an integral part of the effort of the State Board of Education to select a new State school chief last summer. Read More

APR’s Top 5 Under-reported stories of 2016

December 29, 2016

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Over the past year, APR has broken a number of prominent, statewide stories.

While many of those have been picked up by other news outlets – some of them lifted nearly verbatim from APR’s website without attribution – a few stories have gone almost unnoticed and with little follow-up from more traditional outlets.

These stories are important and involve millions of dollars of taxpayer money, abuses of power and manipulations of the systems meant to ensure law and order and justice in the state. Read More

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?”)
Read More

Doing it for the kids

November 14, 2016

By Larry Lee
Education Matters

“I did not know the rules.”

These words won’t leave my head. Round and round, “I did not know the rules.” The reply given by state school board member Mary Scott Hunter to State Senator Gerald Dial when asked in a Nov. 10 committee meeting if she knew the Ethics Committee does not investigate anonymous complaints.
The words hung over the room like an anvil.
Read More

© Copyright 2017 Alabama Political Reporter