Anyone who didn’t see this coming has been living under a rock.
Now that Mike Sentance has headed back to Massachusetts, at least two state newspapers have taken the state school board to task for what has gone on in the last 12-18 months. The Opelika-Auburn News and the Florence TimesDaily are asking that the governing body for K-12 education get its act together.
The points they make are not without merit. As I’ve said before, Sentance did not hire himself. The state board did. Though Sentance was not selected by a unanimous board decision, at the end of the day the entire board is called to task. That’s just the way such things work.
The TimesDaily points out here that Alabama has not been as diligent at developing a plan as to how they will implement the new Federal Every Student Succeeds Act as many other states have.
“Even as Alabama politicians rail at the federal government, the state seems intent at demonstrating its incompetence in all things related to education.
On the same day Ivey explained that Irma had somehow forced a delay in the state’s education plan, the State Board of Education accepted the resignation of State Superintendent Michael Sentance. The board hired him a year ago, despite the fact that he had previously withdrawn his application and despite widespread concerns that he had no experience in schools. After ignoring public input on predictable problems with Sentance as superintendent, the board proceeded to sabotage his efforts to do his job.
It is, rather, the latest symptom of a dysfunctional board.”
(To his credit, interim superintendent Ed Richardson understands the urgency of this situation and has said ESSA is one of his four top priorities.)
The Opelika Auburn News took a longer view with its critique here.