State takeover of Selma schools begins, superintendent placed on - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

State takeover of Selma schools begins, superintendent placed on leave

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SELMA, AL (WSFA) -

The Alabama State Department of Education took over the Selma City School District as of Friday and placed several school district administrators on leave.

Selma City School Superintendent Gerald Shirley, the school district's curriculum coordinator, Wanda McCall, and the student-testing guidance coordinator, Mamie Solomon, have all been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the state's investigation and intervention.

State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice and his team were in Selma Friday meeting with Shirley and school board members. WSFA 12 News was the only television station in attendance.

Dr. Bice said the closed-door meeting went well overall but he said he wasn't pleased that only three of the five city school board members showed up.

"I don't know why they didn't come. I guess they had more important things to do," Bice said.

The meeting and the removal of the three administrators are the results of a troubling report released last fall. The report showed significant academic issues, a lack of institutional control and a Selma High School teacher allegedly have sexual relations with a student.

"We told the board we want this to be a collaborative effort and we'll work together. If we see that it's not going the way we planned then we'll take full control at that point," Bice said.

The intervention team consists of five people -- four are long-time educators in Alabama and the fifth is a former superintendent from Georgia.

The meeting began what could be a two-year intervention process.

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