Pre-filed bill would abolish elected School Board

December 10, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

State Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, declared war on the state school board of Education with his introduction of Senate Bill 25, which would wipe out the Board and the position of Alabama state school superintendent.

Albritton’s bill would eliminate the position of State Superintendent of Education and reclassify the position as a cabinet position known as the Director of Education.

For decades Alabama governors have complained that they did not have enough power over education in the state.  This bill would turn education into just another cabinet level agency, much like the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency or the Department of Corrections.

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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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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.
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State School Board cancels meeting, “circus” work session to be held instead

August 23, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Michael Sentance survives – again.

A majority of the Alabama Board of Education couldn’t agree to attend a meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning, following a letter late last week from Gov. Kay Ivey’s legal advisor. That letter warned that the meeting might have been improperly called and that any action taken at it could be deemed illegal.

So, that meeting was officially cancelled late Tuesday afternoon, and a work session will be held instead. Board members can’t take official actions at a work session, so the scheduled review of Sentance’s contract, which was on the agenda for the cancelled meeting, will have to wait.
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Dial’s “laundry list” of who will appear in Pouncey smear investigation

July 18, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A “laundry list” of political figures and State employees received a letter on July 17, from Senator Gerald Dial requesting their appearance on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at 1:00 pm, to investigate the false ethics complaints filed against Dr. Craig Pouncey.

The letter states, “I write to you in my role as Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Confidentiality Issues Involving Complaints Filed with the State Ethics Commission which was created pursuant to Act 2016-456 (SJR 6).”
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State feeling buyer’s remorse on Superintendent of Education

May 4, 2017

Rep. Craig Ford

When we hear the words, “buyer’s remorse,” we usually think of somebody who bought a car they couldn’t afford or some luxury item that ended up not being as great as they thought it would be.

But the term also applies to the way a lot of members of the Alabama Legislature and the State Board of Education feel about our School Superintendent, Michael Sentance.

The warning signs should have been there from the beginning.
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The beginning of the end for Michael Sentance?

March 8, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

“It’s a mess.”

That’s the way a longtime employee at the Alabama State Department of Education described the last few months since Michael Sentance took over as State Superintendent of schools in August.

That person was not alone in criticism of Sentance and his management style. At least a half-dozen employees or contract workers who have spent time at ALSDE under Sentance, who is originally from Massachusetts, described the atmosphere as a mixture of chaotic and paranoid, as Sentance has fought to wrestle control of the department from longtime officials and establish himself as the State’s top school official.
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Reaction to Federal officials questioning State’s high graduation rate while academic performance lags

November 22, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Multiple media sources report that almost 90 percent of Alabama students now graduate from high school on time. This is tremendous improvement in a short period of time and ranks third in the country. Student achievement in Alabama however is among the nation’s worst. In one recent math achievement test the State’s fourth graders were the worst performing in the entire country. Federal officials announced that they are looking into the discrepancy.
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Dial Committee Gets To Work

November 4, 2016

By Larry Lee
Education Matters

The committee created by Senators Gerald Dial and Quinton Ross to find out how anonymous info given to the state school board made its way into public heard from their first “witnesses” earlier today.

Senator Dial stressed again that the legislature has gone to great lengths to make sure anonymous complaints made to the Ethics Commission do not reach the public and the intent of this committee is to determine how such a “leak” occurred so they can take steps to correct it.
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Fact Checking State School Board Member

October 28, 2016

By Larry Lee
Education Matters

“Hyperbole” should be the middle name of most all politicians. They are masters of embellishment, of overstatement, of stretching the truth and tall tales both big and small.

As we’ve all be told from birth, “take it with a grain of salt” is super advice when listening to a politician pontificate. I was reminded of this a couple days ago when I read an article in the Gadsden Times titled: “State board member addresses superintendent hire, other issues.”
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