Still waiting on answers in ALSDE probes

November 8, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Three attorneys for the state’s department of education along with a board member have serious charges pending before the Alabama State Bar Disciplinary Commission over a scheme to deny Dr. Craig Pouncey the superintendent’s  job and yet there has been no response from the bar.

Bar complaints against Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) board member, Mary Scott Hunter, ALSDE attorneys Juliana Teixeira Dean, James R Ward III, and Susan Tudor Crowther were filed some months ago after an internal investigation. The internal report found Hunter and the three ALSDE lawyer had schemed a smear Pouncey who was a candidate for state superintendent.

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Montgomery wants state to pay for uncertified hires

October 27, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Who’s picking up the tab?

That question is being asked a lot in the Montgomery Public Schools system these days, as the district searches for cash to fill a budget deficit and attempts to dig out from a disastrous state takeover.

One way that Montgomery officials hoped to trim down was by ridding itself of superfluous hires made by former state superintendent Michael Sentance and his team.

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Pike Road still hasn’t repaid Montgomery Public Schools

October 24, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Pike Road school system obviously believes strongly in finders keepers.

Nearly a year after the system was notified by the Alabama State Department of Education that it was mistakenly sent more than $1.4 million that should have gone to Montgomery Public Schools, Pike Road still hasn’t repaid the money. And it’s now apparently using the repayment of that money to sweeten a deal the system is trying to work to purchase a school building from MPS.

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Thank God And Greyhound — The Sentance Saga, Part 4

October 10, 2017

By Larry Lee
Education Matters

The Alabama Education Association has now filed suit against Sentance and Reggie Eggleston, who is in charge of the Montgomery takeover, contending that the state cannot deny the elected school board the right to hire a superintendent.

Under Sentance and his “leadership team,” the work environment at the state department was described as “toxic.” Too many necessary jobs went unfilled. State board members were inundated with complaints from their district school systems about the difficulty of getting calls and emails answered.

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Thank God And Greyhound — The Sentance Saga, Part 3

October 9, 2017

By Larry Lee
Education Matters

Why all the shenanigans?

There is little unity of purpose among board members and certainly was no consensus going into the selection process as to what the state’s top education priorities were and what kind of person and experience were needed to get us to that point.

Of the six finalists, three were local superintendents, one was a member of the governor’s cabinet and two were policy wonks from California and Massachusetts with no hands-on education experience.

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Thank God And Greyhound — The Sentance Saga, Part 2

October 6, 2017

By Larry Lee
Education Matters

Things really got funky at the state board meeting on July 12.

Each board member got an envelope with an unsigned “complaint” to the state Ethics Commission alleging that Pouncey plagiarized his 2009 doctoral dissertation for Samford University, as well as getting excessive help from department employees.

The Ethics Commission will not investigate unsigned complaints, so the info became a moot point. In fact, six of the eight board members testified that they paid no attention to this letter and discarded it.

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Analysis: Montgomery intervention failing despite local support

September 17, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

There is a misconception with the state takeover of Montgomery Public Schools.

Everyone seems to think that MPS officials don’t want it.

That’s untrue.

Board members made it clear this week that even those who are currently actively engaged in an ongoing AEA lawsuit against the intervention are open to it continuing after the resignation last week of Michael Sentance.

And that fact, probably more than any other, is a perfect example of the complicated chore an intervention – especially one in a large district – is, and how poorly Sentance managed the one in Montgomery.
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Sentance out, Richardson in as superintendent

September 15, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Out with the new, in with the old at the Alabama State Department of Education.

State school board members on Thursday accepted the resignation of Michael Sentance, ending a tumultuous one-year tenure, and selected former superintendent Ed Richardson to take over on an interim basis.

“I’m very excited that Dr. Richardson is going to be returning,” said Gov. Kay Ivey, who presided over the meeting. Ivey, by virtue of her office, is the Board of Education president.

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Should Superintendent Sentance be fired?

September 13, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

On Thursday, the State Board of Education will meet to discuss terminating State Superintendent Michael Sentance’s contract.

Politics has surrounded Sentance’s time in Alabama, starting even before he was hired. And if the Board decides to fire him, his supporters will claim that politics was the driving factor.

Sentance was the preferred choice of those who support charter schools and diverting tax dollars away from public schools to fund scholarships for private schools. And with his job on the line, most – if not all – of those who have publicly supported him have been those who support charter schools and the Accountability Act scholarship program.
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They’re trying to save Michael Sentance — again

September 12, 2017
Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentance

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

There is a last-ditch effort to – again – save Michael Sentance.

The beleaguered state superintendent is expected to be fired on Thursday at a meeting of the Alabama Board of Education. His termination is so assured that calls have been placed to potential interim and acting  superintendent candidates.

But not if the anti-Common Core crowd holds any sway.

Over the last few days, email blasts have gone out to state politicians and board of education members from an anti-common core group. Members of that group have also been calling board members and Gov. Kay Ivey’s office.

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