State education department looking into Selma City Schools' rece - Montgomery Alabama news.

State education department looking into Selma City Schools' recent actions

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)

As the state prepares to start making changes to Montgomery Public Schools, questions still remain about the last intervention they approved. It was February 2014 when the Alabama State Board of Education approved an intervention into Selma City Schools.

Three years later, the district and the state both have new superintendents, but state superintendent Michael Sentance says he hasn't received an update on Selma's intervention since he was hired eight months ago.

"I've not received an update since I've been here in September," Sentance explained. "Beyond that, I don't know. The last communication that the state gave to them a couple of years ago was that they were in a monitoring phase. Given recent events, we're now trying to figure out exactly where we are and what we should be doing."

The recent events Sentance is referring to is the Selma School Board's decision to put Superintendent Angela Mangum on administrative leave. The board took that action after Mangum applied for the same job in Pike Road without telling the board.

Sentance says the board's action, and a lot of allegations surrounding the district, have led him to investigate what's really going on.

Former Huntsville Superintendent Ann Roy Moore was part of Selma's intervention team and will now be tasked with creating a new report on the matter.

"We hear a number of things and rather than just dealing with a lot anecdotal information, having a report by a former superintendent," Sentance said. "Go in, see what's going on in the central office, listen to the school board, the superintendent, and find out what the status of things are." 

Sentance wouldn't elaborate on what the state was hearing about the school system.

"There's just a lot of allegations, so rather than figuring out what's real and what's not, I thought it would be better just to have someone who was familiar with the situation, who knew what it was like a couple years ago, and who could go in and give us a really good, clear picture of the current status and whether or not we have to do anything else," Sentance said.  

Ultimately though, Sentance says it's all about doing what's best for the students.

"We don't want to see any slippage and going back to the old ways of practice in the district," he said.

WSFA 12 News reached out to Dr. Mangum Friday to ask about her suspension and the intervention. She said she couldn't comment on this story because of pending litigation. A required hearing for Dr. Mangum before the school board is set for May 23.

WSFA 12 News has also left several messages with the Selma City School system this week. They've yet to respond.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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