D Day is Friday, April 20.  In this case, D stands for DECISION as the governor, plus the state school board, will interview four candidates for state superintendent and decide on one.

Ray & Associates, the search firm handling this project, brought seven names before the board on April 13.  From these, a final four were selected.  In alphabetical order they are:

Eric Mackey, former superintendent of the Jacksonville, AL city school system and currently executive director of the School Superintendents Association of Alabama.:

Kathy Murphy, superintendent of the Hoover city system and former superintendent of the Monroe County system.

Craig Pouncey, superintendent of the Jefferson County school system, former Assistant State Superintendent for both Ed Richardson and Joe Morton when they were state superintendent, former Chief of Staff to state superintendent Tommy Bice and former superintendent of the Crenshaw County system.

Robert Scott, former Education Commissioner for state of Texas.  This is position is appointed by the governor and does not answer to the state board of education.  He is an attorney by training, not an educator.

Courtesy of The Decatur Daily, here are excerpts from the four candidates’ letters to the Alabama State Board of Education:

Eric Mackey:

“I am convinced that the vast majority of educators in our state believe in our students and want to help them excel. I am also convinced that we can do better, but only if we have a consistent and focused plan to support our teachers and local school administrators and, especially, the students and families they serve. The role of the state is to set clear expectations and direction as well as to empower and support our local educators by providing resources and strategies for meeting those expectations.”

Kathy Murphy:

“If you are interested in someone for state superintendent who knows there are many complex and challenging issues, I get it. If you are interested in degrees, I have them. If you are interested in experience, I have it. It you are interested in honesty, integrity, courage and tenacity, I’ve got it. If above all, you are interested in someone with a passion for children and someone on a mission to educate students, I’m all in.”

Craig Pouncey:

“… the (department of education) needs a superintendent who will look down the field. We cannot be simply reactive. The state superintendent and the state board must again become the leader with a clear vision in all of our efforts and communications. School success is not a result of one form of measure — it is the work of effective leadership at state and local levels, involving quality administrators, properly resourced teachers, informed and supportive legislative members, informed taxpayers and a supportive community.”

Robert Scott:

“I have spent nearly 30 years in education policy at the state and federal level and am currently in pursuit of new challenges to assist states and local school districts in improving student performance and outcomes.”

Friday will certainly be an interesting day.

To watch this on your computer go here to ALSDE web site.  On left of top menu, click Department Offices.  At top left of next menu. click State Board of Education.  Scroll down to State Board of Education meeting which will be shown beginning at 10 a.m.