Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s Office has confirmed that State Superintendent Michael Sentance submitted his resignation to her office Wednesday morning.
“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,” said Ivey who serves as President of the Board of Education. “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.”
“I have spoken with Mr. Sentance, thanked him for his commitment to public service and education, and wished him well,” Ivey concluded.
Sentance was named to the position last August. With less than a full year under his belt as the State Superintendent, he found himself on the firing line in July as the Alabama Board of Education began to question his performance.
Sentance, who oversaw nearly 900 employees at the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), was given a performance review by the state Board of Education in July, where in received low marks.
In the months that followed, Sentance has found himself at the center of a debate as to whether or not he should be removed from his position. Many expected his firing to be eminent at an upcoming regular board meeting scheduled for Thursday.
Sentance’s resignation is effective immediately.
“I am humbled and appreciative of the opportunity to serve as state superintendent in Alabama,” Sentance said following his resignation. “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.”
The Alabama Policy Institute (API) calls Sentance’s resignation a major setback for education.
“At API, we are saddened to hear that Michael Sentance was forced to resign as Alabama State Superintendent of Education. We see this as a massive setback for education in Alabama,” API said in a statement. “This is not about Sentance. This is about many individuals in our state who like their starting position on a last-place team. As a state, we have to change this mentality. If we do not, we will never improve, and we will have nobody to blame but ourselves.”
Succession plans have yet to be determined.