State feeling buyer’s remorse on Superintendent of Education
When we hear the words, “buyer’s remorse,” we usually think of somebody who bought a car they couldn’t afford or some luxury item that ended up not being as great as they thought it would be.
But the term also applies to the way a lot of members of the Alabama Legislature and the state Board of Education feel about our school superintendent, Michael Sentance.
The warning signs should have been there from the beginning.
After all, Mr. Sentance isn’t even an educator! He’s an attorney by trade (specializing in tax law), and hasn’t spent a single day of his life in the classroom as a teacher or principal. He has no degree in education, and his only previous experience as an education administrator was from 1991-1996 as Secretary of Education in Massachusetts.
Before becoming Alabama’s Superintendent of Education, Mr. Sentance had been rejected for similar positions in Kentucky, Nevada, Nebraska and Ohio.
In Alabama, his candidacy was adamantly opposed by those who wanted someone who understands our unique needs. His advocacy for charter schools also caused a lot of heartburn.
Mr. Sentence originally withdrew his application due to lack of support, before being convinced to reapply. Shortly thereafter, an anonymous complaint against his strongest opponent, Dr. Craig Pouncey, became public, followed by a whisper campaign that Dr. Pouncey would be investigated by the state’s Ethics Commission (no investigation ever took place).
If only the drama surrounding Mr. Sentance had ended there.
Since taking over the state’s Department of Education, Mr. Sentance’s tenure has been one disaster after another.
His proposal last month to reorganize the state’s career technical education and workforce development programs caused a huge backlash from educators, students and members of the Board of Education. Mr. Sentance proposal was deeply unpopular and would have undermined all the success the program has achieved.
Equally as troubling, Mr. Sentance left the members of the Board of Education out of the loop on what he was planning. Board members were caught off guard by plans and blindsided by the media.
This is becoming a disturbing trend with Mr. Sentance, where a failure to communicate puts others in impossible situations when the media comes calling.
We saw this again just a few weeks ago when Mr. Sentance announced a drop in high school graduation rates, followed by a public release of numbers that were not only incorrect but had also never been seen by any of the state’s local superintendents.
Making matters worse, Mr. Sentance never truly accepted responsibility and chose instead to blame others. But it’s not like this was a simple typographical error, or one or two stats being a little off. “Just Plain Neat information” from Leann McCoy, page editor
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Most folks know that small businesses are the backbone of our local economies. These small businesses provide good-paying jobs for families across East Alabama.
The week of April 30May 6 is recognized as Small Business Week where Congress takes time to take a look at the small businesses across the United States and the role they play in our economy and lives.
Did you know there are 29 million small businesses across the United States? In Alabama, according to the United States Small Business Administration, we are home to over 380,000 small businesses that make up 99.4 percent of Alabama businesses.
These small businesses provide over 700,000 jobs across our state. That is 48 percent of Alabama employees – so almost half of our state is employed by a small business. Before President Trump was in office, I regularly heard from our small business owners that unnecessary government red tape and regulations were hurting their bottom line and forcing them to cut down on employees.
Now, with a strong advocate in the White House, Congress can move from defense to offense in working to help make the lives of these job creators better. For example, in January, I voted for H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, which included a provision that would focus on how regu- lations impact our small businesses and ways to reduce burdensome rules.
This bill and our use of the Congressional Review Act are just common- sense solutions to undo some of the hardships that our small business owners dealt with.
I will continue to work with President Trump on supporting actions that help build up our small businesses and makes them stronger. I want to hear from you on this or any issue. Please sign up for my e-Newsletter by visiting www.mikerogers.house.gov.
To stay up to date, you can also like me on Facebook at Congressman Mike D. Rogers, follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram at RepMikeRogersAL, on Tumblr at www. repmikerogersal. tumblr.com and you can also subscribe to my YouTube page at MikeRogersAL03.