Though there are still a few die-hards trying to defend Mike Sentence, anyone who has paid attention to the Montgomery school intervention begun by him has gotten an up close and personal look at how incompetent he really was..
Sentence hired Jermall Wright from Philadelphia to great fanfare about how he was a miracle worker in turning around schools and would head up such an effort in Alabama. Last summer Wright took to social media to brag about hiring his “A team” from around the country to join him in Montgomery to work on the intervention.
You can read about it here.
However, seems a slight problem has come to light. None of the four have certification or credentials that qualify them to work in Alabama. (This information is available on the state department of education website by going here.)
Aaron Dukes did head human resources for the Montgomery system. This position announcement from May 24, 2017 says the job requires a “current Alabama Teacher’s Certification.” Salary $79,654 to $104,047. Dukes had two professional certifications. Both expired June 30, 2016. Dukes has now been shifted to another slot.
Stephen Bournes is chief academic officer. Again, a current Alabama teacher’s certification is required for this position listed at a salary of $109,267 to $132,459. Info on the state’s web site says he has no certificates.
Evan Daniels and Keith Miles are “Principal Leaders.” Salaries of $95,970 to $115,970. A “valid Alabama State Department of Education certification in Education Leadership” is required. Neither have any certificates and Daniels does not have a completed background check.
One of the over-riding issues with the Montgomery system is morale–or lack of it. From the outset, experienced educators in the system had no confidence in Sentence and his leadership team. They didn’t believe any of them knew what they were doing. And this really manifested itself when Sentence announced that he was giving 10 percent raises to principals of the poorest-performing schools in the system–but not the best ones. (He later came back and gave raises to all principals.)
Now longtime employees know they are being “lead” by people who do not meet qualifications for employment.
Yep, that boosts your confidence for sure.
Reggie Eggleston is the Chief Education Officer for the Montgomery intervention, which means he is the acting superintendent. Sentence put him in this slot. He has invited system principals to visit with him from 2:30-4:00 on Oct 20 and Oct 25. (Maybe he doesn’t have time to visit principals at their schools.)
And maybe someone will ask him why he has so many uncertified employees working for him.
State interim superintendent Ed Richardson told the state school board last week that the Montgomery situation was “more complex than he had anticipated.”
Now we are seeing why.