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Alabama Board Taps Superintendents' Group Leader As Next State Chief

Alabama's state board of education Friday picked Eric Mackey, the executive director of the group that represents local superintendents, to serve as the state's schools chief. 

The state's last superintendent, Michael Sentance, resigned under pressure just a year after being hire. His tenure included a fumbled attempt to take over Montgomery City Schools, along with efforts to craft the state's accountability plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act and to figure out a way to better rank its schools. The state's schools rank as some of the worst in the nation. 

Mackey previously served as superintendent of Jacksonville City Schools in Alabama.The board hasn't signed a contract yet. 

"I think I have what it takes to work with all of you to move the state forward," Mackey said in an interview with the Montgomery Advertiser. "I am who I am. We're going to work together. If you want someone for (just) a couple of years, I am not your person. I think we need some long term stability and I want to do it for the long term." 

The average tenure of state superintendents across the nation is a little more than two years now.  

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