MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Board of Education could vote as soon as next month on whether state Superintendent Michael Sentance should remain on the job, a board member said Thursday.
Board member Jeff Newman said several members want to discuss Sentance’s contract at the Sept. 14 meeting. Newman said that discussion could include a vote on whether to dismiss Sentance, the school reformer they hired just a year ago to lead public schools.
“As far as how a vote will go, I don’t know,” Newman said. “There’s a lot of dissatisfaction from the educators across this state. I listen to people,” Newman said. He declined to elaborate.
A divided school board hired Sentance last August, naming the former Massachusetts education secretary as Alabama’ school superintendent. Board members who voted for him said he would bring a fresh perspective while others raised concerns because he had no classroom or school-level experience.
The board last month gave Sentance low marks on a performance evaluation. Board members ranked the superintendent’s performance on a scale of one to three in several categories. Sentance scored averages between 1.28 and 2.07
Sentance, in a verbal response to the board, said he would try to do better at communication, but was proud of his work so far.
“Alabama is a great state. I believe that it could have a great future. It deserves a great public education system. It cannot continue to educate 20 to 30 percent of our students well and hope that is enough. We need more,” Sentance told board members.
Gov. Kay Ivey, who previously said Sentance should be given time to implement proposed reforms, declined to say Thursday if she thought Sentance should stay. Ivey, who serves as board president, plans on attending the meeting.
“I am certainly weighing the options and gathering information,” Ivey said.