And, Alabama’s next school superintendent is …

Via Hoover City Schools, Birmingham, Alabama
Via Hoover City Schools, Birmingham, Alabama
Via Hoover City Schools, Facebook

The Alabama Board of Education will interview four finalists today, and most likely vote on who will lead the state’s K-12 schools.

The board meets at 10 a.m. in Montgomery to interview the four finalists. Communications Director Michael Sibley will ask each candidate the same set of questions, and they will be given an hour to answer the questions.

performance
A 6th grader at Pizitz Middle School asks about the history behind the performance. Photo by Hunter Drinkard for Bham Now.
Watch The Interviews

The meeting will be livestreamed on the department’s website. The first interview starts at 10:30 a.m. and the meeting should finish by 3:30 p.m.

So, What Does A Superintendent Do?

The superintendent is responsible for overseeing and coordinating Alabama’s elementary and secondary schools. She or he hires, supervises, and manages the central staff and principals. The nine members of the Alabama Board of Education appoint the state’s  superintendent of education.

Alabama has had four education superintendents in the last four years. Former Massachusetts Education Commissioner Michael Sentance resigned in September, after holding the position for a year and a day. His salary was $198,000. No, this is not normal, and yes, there is controversy surrounding the superintendent appointment.

Birmingham, Alabama, Woodlawn, students
Photo of Woodlawn High School students by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
Superintendent Finalists

The finalists:

Birmingham, Jefferson County, Jefferson County Schools, Greenwood Elementary, school lunchrooms, school lunchroom health ratings
Greenwood Elementary school students, via Facebook

In the job posting the board noted that they are looking for a candidate “with proven skills in working with political leaders at the state level,” among many other detailed qualifications.

In the past the board has emphasized that no one has effectively managed the relationship between the board and state lawmakers, the ones who control how much money schools receive.

A big decision here. Who do you think will be chosen? Who do you want to be chosen?