It has been well-documented that for the past couple of years, the Alabama state board of education has not resembled a well-oiled machine. Unfortunately it has spit and sputtered and lurched and bucked like Grandpa’s old truck heading for its last roundup.
Consequently we had the very dubious hire of a state superintendent who left town after serving one year and one day. We had a legislative committee trying to unravel why things were leaked to the press. We had a local superintendent file a law suit against one board member and four ALSDE employees. There was an internal investigation by ALSDE that said evidence pointed out that the search process was tainted. And now we have one ALSDE attorney suing another for writing this report.
And at the heart of all the commotion has been state board member Mary Scott Hunter. The very person who probably has the distinction of being the only state board member sued for her conduct in office.
The Gadsden city school system is in Hunter’s northeast Alabama district. So when I came across this article in the Gadsden Times I did a double-take and just shook my head.
As sometimes happens with local school boards, the Gadsden board is experiencing an upheaval and differences of opinion. Its members are presently appointed by the Gadsden City Council. However, state representative (and state senate candidate) Mac Butler is proposing that the appointed board be replaced by one elected by the people of Gadsden.
So who chimes in to comment on how school boards should work? You got it. Our friend Mary Scott Hunter.
According to the article, she suggests that the local board listen to Rep. Butler because, “There is dissatisfaction with your performance.”
My goodness, has she looked in the mirror? Has she talked to state senator Greg Albritton who has already filed legislation to change the state board from elected to appointed. One of the main reasons is that he was on the legislative committee looking at how the state board has been doing business and would no doubt echo Hunter’s comment to the Gadsden board, “There is dissatisfaction with your performance.”
Hunter is quoted by the Gadsden Times as saying, “Things have gotten a little tangled up in Gadsden.”
I know Mary Scott. I like her. But dog gone if I understand the value of telling someone how to operate when your recent actions have shown that you have a difficult time of following your own advice.