Reaction To Jeff Langham Firing Is Loud And Long

When superintendent Mike Sentance told Deputy Superintendent Jeff Langham last Thursday that he was fired educators quickly came to his defense.  I got countless emails and phone calls from people very upset.  Governor Ivey heard from a large number of people as well.

As of this writing at noon, September 2, the blog post above had received 3,586 “hits” on my blog, reached 10,187 on Facebook and been shared on Facebook 53 times.

I wish I could say that this is a normal response, but it is not.  As a rule I get about 1,000 “hits” a day on the blog.  So this is a good measure of how intensely people felt about Sentance’s latest move.

And remember, this came just one day after Chief of Staff Dee Fowler told board members of the School Superintendents Association that talk about budget issues were a “myth.”  Sentance was present when Fowler made this comment.  (As was a tape recorder.)

I have known Jeff Langham for years.  I talked to him Friday night.  He was caught totally off guard by the news that he was terminated.  After all, this came only two months after he received a promotion and a raise.

Langham was superintendent in Elmore County for years.  Because of this, he has great empathy for local school systems.  Unfortunately under the Sentance regime, this empathy is not pervasive at ALSDE now.  But local educators knew Langham would work hard to get them answers to questions others ignored so he was their “go to” person.  He would return phone calls and answer emails, something Sentance will never be accused of doing.

While the “leadership” at ALSDE now seem to think that they are above working with local schools, Langham totally understands that the primary role of Montgomery is to help in any way possible to make life easier and less complicated for schools and teachers.

This episode is just one more sordid example of the dysfunction taking place under Mike Sentance.


20 Responses to Reaction To Jeff Langham Firing Is Loud And Long

  1. Mike Sentance must see Jeff Langham as a threat to his authority. How does Sentance have authority to terminate Langham’s position without justification or State Board of Education support.

  2. Sentance had never worked for a board until he showed up in Alabama. He has ignored them for the most part, which is why you’ve had board work sessions that lasted for hours because they are trying to pull info out of him. And when the board tried to ask questions about what he was doing with the Montgomery intervention he got an AG’s opinion saying he is above questioning. So he sent a letter to board vice-president Stephanie Bell telling her to back off and don’t ask questions. Consequently no one seems to have a clue about how money is being spent in Montgomery, not the local school board nor the state board.

    Accountability seems to be a four-letter word at ALSDE these days.

  3. I have worked professionally with Jeff Langham for many years!!! He was a top notch superintendent, who lead a highly, successful school system! A school system that was sad to see him leave. Jeff was a breathe of sunshine and fresh air to the bureaucratic environment at the ALSDE! He answered emails, no matter how trivial they might have been! I am longtime educator, who dedicated nearly 32 years to education in Alabama, it is time to clean house at the ALSDE.. starting with the Massachusetts individual who has NO CLASSROOM experience! Mr. Sentence, I have more experience to run the state school system than you! It’s time for educators to speak up, we want Sentance out!!! Jeff, hold your heard up, you were working in an unhealthy environment! There are many other systems that will hire you in a minute!Frankly, I blame the ALSDE for this mess, they hired Sentance!

  4. Agree that the education community must speak up. This is why I have asked readers to write Governor Ivey on several occasions. Many have and are getting her attention for sure. But we need more to write.

  5. Jeff Langham is a wonderful educator, leader, and human being. There are no words for how angry this makes me.

  6. Can you post the governors REAL email address one more time? I have the one that does not work.


  7. This is absolutely absurd! I’ve known Jeff for 20 years and worked under him when he was my superintendent for 12. This is a man who would meet with you whenever you ask, who would stop by just to pat you on the back. Something must be done to stop this.

  8. I worked with Dr. Langham
    for 10 years in Elmore County. We were disappointed when he left to work for the ALSDE, but knowing he was still working for for AL and Alabama’s students made the adjustment a little easier to take. Now, we are losing an excellent educator…it’s a sad day for the state.

  9. I must say I am appalled at the decision of this Mr. Sentance on the tiemination of Mr. Jeff Langham who is one of the finest persons I know in the education field and also as fine of a person away from his job. He is just being used as the scapegoat and it sounds a lot like what is going on in the nation’s captiol. This decision needs to be reconsidered and if at all overturned and Mr. Langham should not be terminated! I am just a private citizen having lived now in Elmore country for 40 years and had two children who both attended the local schools in Wetumpka and did well. It was if course much later when Mr. Langham became the superintendent for the Elmore county board of education but when he did get that position he did an outstanding job. I do have a daughter who has been teaching in the Elmore county school system for almost 21 years and she has always had nothing but the highest admiration for Mr. Langham and what sets him apart from others his door is and was always open. Can’t say the same for others. Please everyone take the time to write or email our governor and hopefully we can come together to save Mr. Langham’s job! Keep up your good work Jeff and we are going to out our two cents worth in!

  10. This is just wrong in so many ways. Alabama has a bad reputation for poor education standings nationally as it is. I taught in Elmore County for 30 years many under Dr. Langham. He is a brilliant man and holds the students and educators of Alabama as the most important task he has ever undertaken. His goal has always bee to improve the lives of our children. This move of this Superentendent is unacceptable to all concerned. In my view Dr. Langham should be the Superentendent of Education in Alabama not Sentance!

  11. There are no words to express how upset I am at the firing of Jeff Langham There has never been a finer more competent educator I have known Mr Langham for 30+ years and he has always been the epitome of a dedicated public servant He has always been available to render help wherever he could
    Wasn’t it just a couple weeks ago the State Board was discussing removing the State Superintendent? Well now he’s still there and the more excellent of the two is gone This is an injustice I urge Governor Ivey and the State Board to reinstate Mr Langham and revisit the removal of Superintendent Sentance

  12. Superintendent Sentance is a disgrace to the education system! Jeff Langham is a Godly man who has a special love for children and is concerned for their well being! I’m go glad my daughter is finished with school because of lowlife’s like Superintendent Sentance!

  13. The Alabama SDE BOARD must give an answer for this. The SDE Supt. still answers to that board. Shame on every board member if they do not make the SDE Supt. give a real answer and not just use the scape goat of reduced funding. Please make your SDE Board Member give a “REAL ANSWER” as to how the firing of Dr. Jeff Langham is acceptable to them, for either they have approved or should accept the Supt’s recommendation. State legislators- Pay Attention!

  14. It is time to fire Sentance!!!!! Laugh am should be given back his job or even be made Alabama Superintendent!!!! Kay Ivey, I hope you are listening and seeing how the people feel!!!!

  15. I am not sure the board has to approve appointments and terminations. It is amazing how little real power the broad has. And Sentance has definitely kept them in the dark many times.

  16. Jeff Langham was a huge asset to Elmore County and to the ALSDE – Hopefully he will be brought back on board with Mr. Sentance’s resignation.