State superintendent Mike Sentance continues to move ahead with his intended take over of about half of the Montgomery County school system.  To this point about all we know is that he got a no-bid contract done for $750,000+ for a CFO to come in and a $500,000+ contract for a Massachusetts consulting firm he once had a relationship with and has hired Reggie Eggleston from Mobile at an annual salary of $164,419.20 to run the intervention.

Both state school board members and Montgomery County board members seem to remain essentially in the dark as to what is planned and who is picking up the bills.

However, they do know that Sentance recently announced that the prinicpals of all the 27 poorer-performing schools being taken over will get a 10 percent salary increase–while principals of the top performing schools do not get one.

The state recently held three community wide meetings to explain to the public what is involved with the takeover.  The final one was April 27 at Park Crossing High School.

You can see the entire session here.

I encourage you to skip most of it and go to the 1:57:30 mark and listen to an exchange between a parent and Sentance.  The parent reminded Sentance that a good bit of the discussion that evening dealt with resources–and lack of resources.  He said that if Sentance was serious about the intervention, he would immediately stop the 10 percent raises.  He explained that he had never heard of awarding people for not doing their job.

Sentance shot back that he “profoundly” disagreed with the gentleman.  He then stated that good schools must have good principals and they should be fairly compensated.  I am in complete agreement and this was my number one takeaway from the 2008 study “Lessons Learned From Rural Schools.”

But at this point, Sentance’s logic totally runs off the rails as he tries to defend why weaker personnel are getting raises.  He says Montgomery must pay principals better so good people will not leave the system.  Yet he totally ignores the fact that in this case, the “good people” are the ones on the short end of the stick.

I have talked to superintendents all over Alabama about what Sentance is doing in Montgomery.  None of them can believe it and none agree with his logic.  And they all add it to the list of blunders Sentance continues to make.