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Alabama Names Education Consultant to Serve as State Superintendent

 Michael Sentance, a prominent education consultant from Massachussets, is the Alabama state board of education's pick to serve as the state's next superintendent of education. 

State chief Tommy Bice abruptly announced his resignation in March after five years in the role during which he increased the state's graduation rate and adopted a statewide strategic plan. He also led the state through a years-long battle to allow for charter schools in the state. Bice argued that local districts should decide whether or not to approve charter schools. The state will open its first charter schools this year.  

Bice also managed to raise the state's standards during his tenure, after Alabama continued to rank at the bottom of national tests.  

Sentance, formally named Aug. 11, has served as an independent education consultant for the last several years and previously served as the president of the Education Reform Strategies for Tribal USA. He has also been outspoken about states adopting high standards. 

"I believe it is a moral imperative that standards be internationally benchmarked, and the best public schools educators with the best available academics from the state's universities should be responsible for this endeavor," Sentance said in his application for the Alabama job, according to the state education department. "Academic standards constitute the covenant with the future of the state to raise achievement and create opportunity." 

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