Alabama Education Superintendent Michael Sentance has resigned ahead of a school board meeting in which some members were expected to push to fire him.
Sentance submitted his resignation on Wednesday to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. It is effective immediately.
Sentance said he was "humbled and appreciative" of the opportunity to serve as state superintendent. He says his hope is Alabama makes "educating all children the state's highest priority."
The board of education had scheduled a Thursday meeting to discuss Sentance's contract. Members had recently given Sentance a poor performance evaluation.
Sentance, an education consultant, was hired a year ago to be the new leader of public schools. He previously served as Massachusetts secretary of education and in a senior position in the U.S. Department of Education.
UPDATE: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey released the following statement:
“Today, I received the resignation of State Superintendent of Education Michael Sentance. I do not take this situation lightly, and as President of the State Board of Education, I will ask the Board to accept his resignation.
“Over the past two years, Alabama has experienced far too many changes in state government. As with previous changes in leadership positions, we will use the pending resignation of the state superintendent as an opportunity to move forward and begin a new chapter in public education.
“The State Board of Education has an opportunity to refocus its efforts to improve, support, and better prepare Alabama students for the 21st-Century global economy, so that they can compete successfully. Education continues to be the foundation of our communities and a key piece of the fabric that holds our state together — now is the time to strengthen our education system.
“I have spoken with Mr. Sentance, thanked him for his commitment to public service and education, and wished him well.”