Sentance cuts to ALSDE staff start with popular deputy superintendent

September 1, 2017
Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentance

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

State Superintendent Michael Sentance has begun the process of cutting costs to offset a potential $8 million budget shortfall, and the first cut was popular Deputy Superintendent Jeff Langham, several sources confirmed to APR.

Sources said Langham, the former Elmore County Schools superintendent, was informed by Sentance on Thursday that his position was being eliminated as part of a 20 percent cut in the Alabama State Department of Education’s expenses.

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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?
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No one is safe: Lawyer who uncovered Pouncey smear is now a target of similar campaign

June 29, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a scheme to derail the candidacy of Dr. Craig Pouncey for the job of State Superintendent, now threatens to crush the man tasked with investigating the smear campaign.

Apparently, corruption is written into the DNA of the Department of Education. Every year, hundreds of millions of federal and state tax dollars pour into Alabama’s education system, but the State remains near or at the bottom of the heap by every legitimate metric.
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Hunter proclaims innocence after report found she conspired against Pouncey

June 22, 2017

By Sam Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

Board of Education Representative Mary Scott Hunter proclaimed her innocence on Wednesday after a report found that she had colluded with four others to discredit State Superintendent Candidate Dr. Craig Pouncey.

Other conspirators include Interim State Superintendent Dr. Philip Cleveland, two attorneys in the Alabama State Education Department, and General Counsel Juliana Dean.

Hunter called the report a “coordinated scheme” that was “cooked up” by some of her colleagues at a Board of Education meeting on Wednesday.
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What happens when politicians forget about children

April 26, 2017

By Larry Lee

At best, it was a shotgun wedding. A contrived affair with reason thrown to the wind and political outcome the only thing that mattered. A crudely manipulated process with ethics casually tossed aside. A shameless example of blind ambition being the one constant.

The result was the installation of Mike Sentance as the Grand Poobah of all of k-12 public education in Alabama. A decision that months later still leaves Alabama educators shaking their heads in dismay and became so sordid five people have been called forth by a law suit to defend their actions.
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Survey says: No one trusts the Governor, State Superintendent, School Board

March 23, 2017

Education Matters
By Larry Lee

At this writing, nearly 700 have responded to the survey we posted on Friday, March 17, 2017. Results basically track the last survey made in December which showed little confidence among educators in State level entities charged with helping public schools. You can see all results here.

Respondents were 69 percent female, 93 percent white, 70 percent work for a school system and 46 percent are teachers. Sixty percent have either children or grandchildren attending a public school.
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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

Senator Dial Takes Action

October 11, 2016

By Larry Lee
Education Matters

Unbelievable as it may seem, according to Alabama law, the requirements for someone to be the superintendent of a local school system are much tougher than those to be state superintendent, which is about like saying an operating room nurse needs more training than the surgeon she is assisting.

Alabama Code Section 16-9-2 spells out the requirements for a local superintendent. for example: The county superintendent of education shall be chosen for his general fitness and character and shall be a person of recognized ability as a school administrator. No person shall be eligible for appointment by any county board of education or for any political party nomination, or for election to the office of county superintendent of education unless such person:
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Non-Educator Selected as State Superintendent

August 12, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—At least 30 school superintendents were on hand when the State Board of Education selected a Massachusetts education consultant to lead the Alabama Department of Education (ALSDE). On a 5 to 4 vote, “dark horse” candidate Michael Sentance won after several rounds of voting.

Over the last several years, Sentance has applied and has been rejected for similar positions in…

Wyoming

Kentucky

Nevada

Utah

Nebraska

Ohio.

Many public school superintendents left the meeting in shock, questioning what prompted the Board to elect a man who is not an educator.
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Anonymous Accusations Against Superintendent Candidate

August 11, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Earlier this week, the Alabama Political Reporter asked why the Ethics Commission had inserted itself into the selection process for the next State Superintendent of the Department of Education.

Building upon the investigation into what appears to be a smear campaign against Dr. Craig Pouncey, a candidate for superintendent. New information indicates the Ethics Commission was an unwitting participant in the scheme to derail Pouncey’s candidacy, according to multiple sources.
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