On Thursday Aug. 11, the state board of education voted to hire Michael Sentance of Massachusetts to head the Alabama school system.
One would think that his name should have been familiar to at least the governor and six board members because Sentance was also a candidate for this position in 2011 when Tommy Bice was selected. He failed to be asked for an interview at that time. Present board members who were also on the board in 2011 are: Governor Robert Bentley, Mary Scott Hunter, Jeff Newman, Betty Peters, Stephanie Bell, Ella Bell and Yvette Richardson.
Only current members Cynthia McCarty and Matt Brown have joined the board since 2011.
During the 2011 search several board members were disappointed that no local superintendents applied for the state position, This time three local superintendents (Dee Fowler, Criag Pouncey and Janet Womack) did apply, but were passed over in favor of Sentence.
Again, we are left with more and more questions. Why did Sentance not mention in his interview in Alabama on Aug. 4 that he had applied in 2011? Why did neither the governor, nor any of six other board members, mention this as well? Sentance was an education consultant in 2011, just as he is today. What changed to move him from an also-ran in 2011 to the No. 1 choice now?
(correction: Gary Warren, not Jeff Newman, represented northwest Alabama when Tommy Bice was chosen.)