State school superintendent Michael Sentance has resigned - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

State school superintendent Michael Sentance has resigned

Michael Sentance (Source: Alabama State Department of Education) Michael Sentance (Source: Alabama State Department of Education)

State school superintendent Michael Sentance resigned from his position according to Gov. Kay Ivey's office on Wednesday morning.

The Alabama State Board of Education hired Sentance about a year ago and discussed his future last week.

In response to his resignation, Sentance told our sister station WSFA, in Montgomery, “I am humbled and appreciative of the opportunity to serve as state superintendent in Alabama,” Sentance said in a statement. “There are many good things happening in public education in this state. My hope is that Alabama makes educating all children the state’s highest priority, allowing the state to make significant educational gains and truly becoming the jewel of the south that it has the ability to become.”

Part of that meeting addressed Sentance's contract six weeks after the board gave Sentance low marks in a performance evaluation.   

In July, the state school board expressed concern about his job performance. Sentance scored proficient in just seven of 37 categories.

READ MORE: State school board accepts report saying 5 schemed against Craig Pouncey and Gov. Ivey reviewing new information on Superintendent Sentance

On Tuesday, Marrianne Hayward, president of the Jefferson County affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, told our sister station WBRC that “Sentence has been on the job for a year now and his tenure has been a dismal failure. He has gone out of his way to belittle our teachers and to harm proven programs such as the Alabama Math, Science, Technology Initative and Career Tech.”

Hayward went on to say the future of the 730,000 public school students in Alabama is too important to be turned over to someone unqualified to be state superintendent.

In August, Gov. Kay Ivey told WSFA she wanted to give her embattled education chief more time on the job and felt he deserved it. 

Here are Gov. Ivey's comments on Sentance's resignation: 

“Today, I received the resignation of State Superintendent of Education Michael Sentance. I do not take this situation lightly, and as President of the State Board of Education, I will ask the Board to accept his resignation. 

“Over the past two years, Alabama has experienced far too many changes in state government.  As with previous changes in leadership positions, we will use the pending resignation of the state superintendent as an opportunity to move forward and begin a new chapter in public education.

“The State Board of Education has an opportunity to refocus its efforts to improve, support, and better prepare Alabama students for the 21st-Century global economy, so that they can compete successfully. Education continues to be the foundation of our communities and a key piece of the fabric that holds our state together — now is the time to strengthen our education system.

“I have spoken with Mr. Sentance, thanked him for his commitment to public service and education, and wished him well.”

Sentance is a graduate of Georgetown University, Duquesne University School of Law, and Boston University School of Law. He has served as Assistant Attorney General; Director of the Governor’s Legislative Office – all in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

READ MORE: AEA files lawsuit against state superintendent over Montgomery school intervention

Sentance has served as a regional representative with the United States Department of Education in Washington D.C., representing New England, and as a consultant on education policy and improvement.

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