Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is offering a blunt assessment of the state's education system: It "sucks."
Bentley's remarks came during an appearance in Montgomery before the Alabama Association of Regional Councils.
Video aired Wednesday by WSFA-TV shows Bentley saying: "Our education system in this state sucks." Some in the audience laugh; others applaud. Bentley calls the situation intolerable and vows to make improvements.
Bentley told the crowd that Alabama students ranked 51st nationally in fourth-grade math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
The latest test data shows Alabama is tied for last with the District of Columbia and New Mexico.
The new state school superintendent, Michael Sentance, says he shares Bentley's passion and wants to improve education in the state.