Every day is a new batch of emails from readers all over Alabama.  Most of them make very valid points about the ongoing controversy surrounding superintendent Mike Sentance.  And as you see below, many are from educators who know that the “gospel” and the “gospel according to Mike Sentance” seldom agree.

I always welcome comments.  larrylee133@gmail.com


As I understand the past year, Mike Sentance was named as State Superintendent in August, 2016.  The board gave their remarks and less than ideal review this summer.
My question is simple.  If a teacher was hired for first year and received that same review, would that teacher be rehired???
Would anyone hire me with 38 year experience in elementary education to be a doctor, lawyer, or an accountant??????????
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I was just told that a 10th grade class at our local high school county)has so few text books that students have to share in class and aren’t allowed to take them home. I’m not sure how that is working for them. And, it is nothing new that parents are asked to make donations and purchase lists of supplies to be used by the entire classroom. Teachers have to rely on parents to supply copy paper and garbage bags.
When it comes to extracurricular activities, it’s not any better. Once school starts, we have band members, cheerleaders, football players of all ages and other students come by the office selling fundraiser items no one really wants.
I got my first degree in secondary education years ago. Even then, I realized the problems when I had to spend money out of my pocket while doing student teaching. When I was later offered a job, I turned it down and have not had a desire to teach since.
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.What I would like to know is what happened to all the work that the committees designed by Mr. Sentance to bring recommendations on how to proceed with various disciplines of instruction?   I have heard numerous reports from people who were a part of those committees which included numerous teachers, professors, and state dept. level folks about what their recommendations were but have heard nothing of how Mr. Sentance is moving forward with those recommendations.  I am really getting the feeling that it looks like it was a ploy to make the shift look good with input from those in the trenches but now because it didn’t turn out like he wanted, he has pushed it under the rug!!!
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Sentance said that he created a “never established before” office of school improvement. Several of us almost came unglued. I worked on the School Improvement Team from 2006-2011. I’m sure it was not a figment of my imagination. Cheryl Sparks was sent to the first “takeover” school years ago and, from there, she built a framework for improving schools that still has impact today. Many of the schools we served are now in good academic standing. Our track record speaks for itself.