State School Board outlines plans for selection of new State Superintendent

Colorful Chalk at Chalkboard

The state school board on Tuesday outlined plans for the selection of the new State Superintendent of Education culminating with the final selection taking place on April 20.

The following dateline describes the process by which the new State Superintendent of Education will be selected: 
  1. Thursday, April 12, 10 a.m.: Executive Leadership Search Firm, Ray and Associates, will meet with the State Board during the work session to explain the process. They will also answer board members’ questions after the presentation. They are currently checking resumes, contacting references, and processing background checks. Please do not contact the search firm. They will provide a complete report to the entire state board at the work session.
  2. Friday, April 13, 9 a.m.: Ray and Associates will meet with the state board to recommend a list of semifinalists based on board criteria and the firm’s research. Board members will select finalists for interviews.
  3. Friday, April 20, 10 a.m.: Finalists will be interviewed and the board will vote to select the next Alabama State Superintendent of Education. Ray and Associates will guide the interview process which will be explained in more detail at the work session on April 12.

School board members are endeavoring to find a replacement for former Superintendent Michael Sentence, who resigned in September 2017.

Sentance had been named to the position August 2016. With less than a full year under his belt as the State Superintendent, he found himself on the firing line in July 2017 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, but he resigned before it could happen.

Ed Richardson — who previously served as the Alabama State Superintendent of Education from October 1995 to January 2004, and then as President of Auburn University from 2004-2007 — is currently serving interim state education superintendent until the position is filled.