Governor, Would You REALLY Hire Mike Sentance?

Governor Kay Ivey stunned Alabama’s education community when she released a statement on Aug. 10 asking the state school board, the one she is president of, to give state superintendent Mike Sentance more time in his job.

The governor’s action caught educators off guard for two reasons.  One being that she is head of the state board and apparently did not consult with any of her fellow board members before issuing this statement.  Another being that just two weeks ago when she was asked to participate with other board members in an evaluation of Sentance she declined, saying that she was not familiar enough with his time on the job.

So did she suddenly get up-to-speed in two weeks?

The evaluation resulted in low marks for Sentance,  So apparently the governor wants those who know Sentance best to ignore their own judgements and observations and yield to someone who just two weeks ago said she did not know what kind of job Sentance was doing.

Sorry, but something about this just doesn’t add up.

So let’s go another route.  Since taking office a few months ago, Governor Ivey has been replacing some folks in high level positions who were Governor Bentley appointees.  This is the way politics works and we understand that.

Since Bently is the primary reason we now have Sentance, let’s suppose Governor Ivey is looking for someone to hire as state superintendent to run K 12 education.  Obviously, she would be looking for a highly qualified person with excellent education credentials and experience.

Would she hire Mike Sentance, the guy she says should not be terminated?  Make up your own mind.

Since the governor studied education at Auburn University and once taught school, it is probable to think she would first look for someone with the same background.  But this eliminates Sentance right off the bat as he never studied education, never was a teacher, principal or local school superintendent.  In other words, he can not relate to what the governor once experienced in a classroom.

She would certainly be aware that Alabama Code Section 16-4-1 says one of the required qualifications for state superintendent is “who is knowledgeable in school administration.”  After all, this is law and no governor wants to break a law.  Unfortunately since Sentance has no education administration experience under his belt she would have to eliminate him at the point.

No doubt she would also have a list of required qualifications similar to those the state board had in 2016.  Among them “Experience in successfully managing a large organization as a superintendent or other educational leader” and “Experience in administering large budgets.”  Shucks, more things Sentance does not have.

And the good governor would surely want to ask Sentance some questions and probe his background.  Things  like, “Mr Sentance you applied for the state superintendent’s job in Alabama in 2011 and did not get an interview.  Why are you more qualified today than you were then?”

Or perhaps, “You hoped to be chosen as Commissioner of Elementary & Secondary Education in Massachusetts in 1998 but this did not happen.  Why not?  Or since her staff would have done extensive homework before the interview, she might have wanted to know, “From 2009 to 2016 you applied for jobs in Kentucky, Alabama, Nebraska, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Nashville and Ohio with no success.  What do all of these folks know about you that we don’t know in Alabama?”

She might even ask something like this, “I see by your resume’ that from January, 2009 until now, you had only one job and that was for only eight months, what were you doing the rest of the time?”

Try as I might, I simply do not believe Governor Kay Ivey would ever hire Mike Sentance to head our state school system, based on the facts outlined above.  To be honest, when she learned he had no experience in a classroom, I doubt he even gets an interview.

Yet, she is now telling us this very same man is who we should keep as our state superintendent.

Sorry, but something about this just doesn’t add up.

One Response to Governor, Would You REALLY Hire Mike Sentance?

  1. Supt. Sentwnce’ s attitude toward us in Alabama schools reminds me if rRECONSTRUCTION after the CIVIL WAR.

    We have been beaten and battered in the state for the last ten years. Now, on thenational scene , we have Betsy DeVos.

    We need someone ” on our said”.

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