Leslie Hughes is a third grade teacher who is definitely not impressed by state superintendent Mike Sentance. And she is willing to say so. Like in this article we used in early June.
And with all the recent talk about the state school boarrd being on the verge of terminating Sentance, Leslie has gathered her courage and spoken out again, this time on AL.com. You can see her remarks here.
The public is now being subjected to a barrage of articles from those who support Sentance. But none of them are educators and none care if their “facts” are correct or not.
(One of the things I’ve learned in recent years is that no one seems to consider educators as professionals. Instead, they think people who never set foot in a school or a classroom are as knowledgeable as those who work in schools every day. I find this amazing and wonder why they don’t take the same approach to running hospitals or most anything else. Truth is, they are no more than the football fan who screams at the professional quaterback on TV and never made it past junior varfsity in their own football career.)
Let’s take a look at some of Leslie’s comments:
“I’m very concerned about the state of Alabama’s public education and its leadership.
Our Superintendent, Michael Sentance, seems to be completely disconnected from the reality of our public schools’ struggles. I read his Alabama Ascending plan, and I attended his hearing. I provided feedback as requested. I have held out hope, like any stereotypical elementary teacher, that his best self would come forward; that he would seek direction in a field in which that he clearly has no background or experience.
Our children and their families deserve better than this. These students are the doctors, lawyers, teachers, caregivers of tomorrow. They deserve every chance we can give them. When we appoint the leader of our schools, that person should be overqualified. They should have experience at every level of education. They should understand, first-hand, the wonderful qualities of our kids and schools, and they should understand the very real challenges they face.
Our children and their families deserve better than someone who is in place to further a political agenda. They deserve a tested leader and a clear communicator. They deserve the opportunity to flourish under high expectations and world-class initiatives. They deserve someone who is the cream of the crop, and not someone who interviewed and was passed over multiple times before coming to us.
Our teachers deserve better. We deserve a leader who has “been there and done that.” We deserve someone who advocates for us, provides support, and holds us accountable. We deserve a leader who understands that issues aren’t addressed by denial, passing the proverbial buck, or by merely hiring a consultant. We deserve someone who doesn’t stand by quietly when a Governor announces that we “suck.”
It’s time for a change. The tenure of Mr. Sentance has been fraught with controversy from the very beginning. He was unqualified for the post then, and he is unqualified for the post now.
Please, let’s hit “reset” and start this new school year under new leadership. And, like Dr. Seuss says, “Oh, the places we’ll go!”