45 Bayberry Road ~ Concord, MA 01742
Highly accomplished Educator with more than 27 years experience and success leading change
and driving the development of innovative education programs and initiatives nationally and
throughout New England. Record of success at the State, Regional, and National levels
complements an impressive knowledge of education policy and issues, and record of proven
success at the highest levels of government. Willing to travel and relocate.
SELECTED CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENTS
United States Department of Education
Established the regional office as a significant advocate for school change in New England.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
As Senior Education Advisor to the Governor…
Chaired the state’s Education Management Audit Board and served as a Steering Committee member
for the Education Commission.
Co-authored a school safety report for communities and school districts after the Columbine event.
Authored a plan to reduce tuition at the community colleges prompting the higher education board to
implement a program that was seen as a national model.
As Secretary of Education…
Established statewide business/education collaboration (“Keep the Promise”) in order to foster public engagement on education reform. Made more than 40 presentations to business groups across the Commonwealth.
Led a wide range of successful programs that improve education throughout Massachusetts, including the school-to-work initiative and advocacy programs for gifted and talented students.
Pushed for technology improvements for public higher education systems and K-12 districts.
Implemented enhanced student achievement standards for the state’s K-12 districts. Also assisted the policy that increased admission standards for the state colleges and the University of Massachusetts. Supported the new articulation agreements between UMass and the community colleges.
Created a book sharing program, Spread the Word, with business, civic and education partners. The program brought 50,000 books in five months to children in poverty and was later recognized by the Council of State Governments as one of the most innovative programs in the country.
Developed a statewide character education program with Boston University.
Appointed as Co-chairman, Massachusetts School-to-Work Executive Committee; Commissioner, Education Commission of the States; and served on the Governor’s Domestic Violence Commission. Ex-officio positions included: Chairman, Massachusetts Committee on Educational Policy; Member, Massachusetts Higher Education Coordinating Council; Member, Massachusetts Board of Education; Member, MassJobs Council; and Trustee, University of Massachusetts.
As Undersecretary of Education, Policy & Planning…
Created school improvement legislation for Governor William Weld that served as the basis for Massachusetts’ Education Reform Act, and resulted in sweeping reforms in the areas of student learning, teacher training, and the measurement of overall progress.
Established the Parent Information Center, to provide parents with information on school districts within Massachusetts.
Helped develop a commission report on the future of state and community colleges advocating more specific mission definitions for each campus.
Helped develop training programs for trustee appointments for colleges and community colleges.
Assisted on developing one of the first School-to-Work grant programs in the nation.
Served as Chairman and Commissioner of a number of key commissions, including Chairman,
Foundation Budget Review Commission; Chairman, Regulatory Relief Commission; and
Commissioner, Education Commission of the States.
As Director of the Governor’s Legislative Office…
Authored legislation for the Board of Regents that established the unified University of Massachusetts system, codified the Public Nomination Council into law, and successfully worked to elevate the Department of Education to cabinet rank status by establishing the position of Secretary of Education.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Secretary’s Regional Representative October 2001 – January 2009
Serve as Region I (New England) Representative for Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.
Explain the Secretary’s education policies to State Governors, Commissioners of Education, higher education officials, state legislative leaders, local education policymakers, and business leaders.
Work with leaders in Washington on initiatives designed to resolve a wide range of issues affecting education nationally.
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS August 1980 – September 2001
Senior Education Advisor to the Governor (July 1996 – September 2001)
Advised the governor on education policy with a focus on educational issues and the development of new policy proposals and worked to measure the progress of 1993 education reform legislation to determine its fiscal impact while analyzing the educational achievement of affected students.
Developed a variety of reform proposals related to teacher quality, class size, workforce development, and early childhood education.
Secretary of Education (July 1995 – June 1996)
Served as the Governor’s chief education policy advisor with responsibility for the oversight of the state’s $3.1 billion-plus investment in education and workforce development programs.
Appointed to and served effectively on numerous boards, committees, and commissions crucial to the ongoing management and development of the state’s education system.
Undersecretary of Education, Policy & Planning (September 1991 – June 1995)
Chaired and served on a diverse range of critical committees and councils tasked with overseeing Massachusetts’ education reform, professional development planning, school and district performance, and new state assessment programs.
Director, Governor’s Legislative Office (January 1991 – August 1991)
Developed the legislative agenda for the Weld-Cellucci administration and authored several key educational initiatives for the Governor.
Assistant Attorney General (October 1988 – January 1990)
Directed and developed legislative strategy for Attorney General James Shannon.
Authored legislation in criminal, civil rights, and ethics law and worked with the legislature on
Legal Counsel, Office of Lieutenant Governor (August 1980 – August 1981)
Drafted legislative initiatives and served as legal advisor to Lt. Governor Thomas P. O’Neill, III.
Ensured that the office and its subsidiary, the Office of Federal-State Relations, were in compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations.
BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, Boston, MA
Master of Laws (LL.M), 1982
DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, Pittsburgh, PA
Juris Doctor (J.D.), 1976
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY, Washington, D.C.
Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) in American Studies, 1973
ACTIVITIES & EDUCATION
Co-chair, Thoreau School (Concord) Council, 1993 – 1994.
Chairman, Green Meadow School (Maynard) Building Committee, 1984 – 1989.
Member, Maynard School Committee, 1983 – 1989 (Chairman 1984 – 1989).
Selected from 257 articles reviewed
In reverse chrolological order
NH students are losing ground to kids in other states
New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, NH) - Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The reports about New Hampshire students' progress -- or lack thereof, depending on the school -- on the New England Comprehensive Assessment Program (NECAP) tests have come and gone like the spring daffodils. As area superintendents so often say, it is only a snapshot, a single assessment of where the schools are. And that snapshot shows that other states are catching up to New Hampshire.Eighth-grade math performance is a key indicator of success. A student who is truly proficient in math is likely to finish high school. In fact, the more recent research shows a correlation between eighth-grade math success and college completion. And math, of course, is the key to economic success built upon new technologies. Begin with the "gateway" courses -- algebra, algebra II and geometry. The nonprofit education reform organization called Achieve, based in Washington, D.C., has reported on how the states are doing getting eighth-graders to take the "gateway" courses. Thirty-two percent of New Hampshire's eighth-graders are taking such courses. This trails the national average of 41 percent. Every one of the technology states -- California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia -- has a higher percentage of its students taking these rigorous math courses. Perhaps most astonishing is that New Hampshire education leaders expect students to progress on a lower track of achievement. As part of a University of New Hampshire System effort to promote college attendance, students in eighth grade are encouraged to talk to the student counselor about "taking (a) pre-algebra or algebra I ... course, if they are available." Too late. While New Hampshire kids are talking about taking algebra, the majority of Massachusetts's eighth-graders are completing it. Then there is the "nation's report card" -- the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). It is a national standardized test established by Congress. Since 2002, all states have been participating. Thirty-eight percent of New Hampshire eighth-graders were proficient in the 2007 NAEP results. While these results are good and well above the national average of 31 percent, technology states have caught up: Virginia (37 percent), Colorado (37 percent), Texas (35 percent), North Carolina (34 percent). New Hampshire seriously lags the national leader, Massachusetts, which is at 51 percent proficiency. What about results at the completion of high school? There is little comfort there. Take a look at the Advanced Placement math assessments. Only 8.2 percent of New Hampshire's seniors take a math AP test. Compared to high-tech competitors like North Carolina (13.4 percent), Colorado (12.5 percent) and Virginia (12.8 percent), New Hampshire lags. In fact, the state finishes well behind the national average of 9.3 percent. Every state that is a competitor for technology companies is moving ahead of New Hampshire in getting more students to a higher level of achievement in critical areas. As New England states are at a disadvantage when it comes to climate (both regulatory and environmental), our one advantage has been our highly educated workforce. But successful education reforms have moved Southern and Western states to a higher plateau. Their governors will use these numbers to show employers that their states are well equipped for their workforce needs. The best students in New Hampshire are as capable as any in this country. But the challenge is to extend that level of preparation to a much greater part of the school population. For the past few years, the state has been engaged in notable efforts to "follow the child" and provide a "real world learning" experience for students. Both efforts laudably tried to connect schools and students in new ways and may have helped reduce the dropout rate. But it's time to refocus on the expectations and the rigor of the academic program. When Gov. John Lynch and I attended the public schools in Waltham, Mass., tracking was the norm, and only a few students were expected to go to college. But it's a different world today. As the governor has said, "We can't rely on im-migration -- what drives jobs and economic development is education." New Hampshire needs to raise expectations for its schools, particularly in math, because the stakes have been raised. New Hampshire's future is in the numbers. . Michael Sentance is the former secretary of education in Massachusetts and most recently served as the U.S. Department of Education's regional representative for New England.
Teacher-to-Teacher plan formally unveiled in Manchester
New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, NH) - Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Author: JOHN WHITSON New Hampshire Union Leader
MANCHESTER -- Some of the nation's shining stars in education will bring their expertise to the city, starting in November.A series of professional workshops will be held then to kick off the U.S. Department of Education's Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative in the city, said Michael Sentance , the DOE's regional representative based in Boston. Sentance formally unveiled the program yesterday at school district administration offices, flanked by U.S. Sen. John Sununu, Mayor Frank Guinta and local superintendents. Sentance insisted the program isn't a direct response to the city school district being one of two in New Hampshire deemed in need of corrective action after three straight years falling short of No Child Left Behind standards.
Maine kids improve on annual test scores - Education officials say the numbers signal success in efforts to meet state standards.
Portland Press Herald (ME) - Saturday, August 25, 2007
Author: BETH QUIMBY Staff Writer
Maine schoolchildren scored the same or slightly better on annual statewide achievement tests this past school year, a sign more students are meeting the state's learning standards, educators say. …Michael Sentance , the regional representative for the U.S. Department of Education, said other New England states saw mixed results on their statewide achievement tests this past year. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont saw flat scores. Massachusetts had posted such big gains in its scores for most of the decade that continued improvement will be less dramatic, Sentance said. Connecticut hired former Massachusetts education commissioner Mark McQuillan in the winter because of concerns over stagnant scores. New Hampshire saw scores increase least. Sentance said based on conversations with Gendron, he is optimistic Maine's test scores will improve more dramatically in the future. He said plans to raise the effectiveness of classroom teaching should help. ''I would expect to see more results in the future,'' he said.
Embden Elementary in limelight again
Morning Sentinel (Waterville, ME) - Friday, September 29, 2006
Author: LARRY GRARD Staff Writer
EMBDEN -- Michael Sentance has visited more than 400 schools in his career as a New England representative for the U.S. Department of Education. But the improvements in student testing that prompted Thursday's visit to Embden Elementary School, Sentance said, are remarkable. Sentance's visit was a vivid reminder of how the rural school of 59 students and five teachers has rebounded since 2001-2002, when it was placed on the federal No Child Left Behind failing schools list. Following the news those five years ago that Embden had failed to meet the required federal standards, the school's fourth-graders have easily surpassed the reading and mathematics standards every year. "I go to places that are changing and improving -- successful models," Sentance said. "There's been significant changes and improvement here."
Making gains in education
Rutland Herald (VT) - Thursday, June 29, 2006
Alis Headlam's piece ("No Child law hinders education," June 15) paints a dour picture of the No Child Left Behind Act - a picture that is thankfully contradicted by the performance of the nation's and Vermont's own schoolchildren.According to the Nation's Report Card, reading scores for America's 9-year-olds have improved more in the last five years than in the previous 28 years combined. The number of fourth-graders who learned their fundamental math skills in the last two years has increased by 235,000 - enough to fill 500 elementary schools. In Vermont, meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of students scored at the "proficient" level or higher in reading and math, according to the fall 2005 New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP), a test designed because of the No Child Left Behind Act. Now that we know how many children need assistance, we can devote our resources to getting them up to grade level in reading and math. There is no more important priority. Very few "intellectually challenging activities," to quote your article, are available to a student who cannot read a sentence or solve a simple math problem. In fact, our renewed emphasis on reading and math has had a substantial impact on a third subject, science. The Nation's Report Card found that fourth-graders have improved their science scores across the board, with the lowest performers making the largest gains. Vermont's students ranked among the top states in the nation. There's no doubt about it, the No Child Left Behind Act has boosted student achievement and identified the problem areas that remain. This is a help to good teachers, not a hindrance. MICHAEL SENTANCE(Regional representative, U.S. Department of Education) Boston
Four Lowell libraries get boost
Sun, The (Lowell, MA) - Saturday, June 25, 2005
Author: REBECCA PIRO, Sun Staff
LOWELL -- Nearly 2,000 elementary students will return to schools with better libraries next fall, thanks to a federal grant presented yesterday to the district.Michael Sentance , the regional representative for the secretary of education, visited the Bailey Elementary School to award district officials with a one-year grant for $234,000. …Sentance said only 28 states received the grant, made possible through No Child Left Behind's Improving Literacy through School Libraries program. Lowell is the only district in Massachusetts to win the grant this year.
Editorial - No Child Left Behind means what it says
Boston Herald (MA) - Thursday, September 16, 2004
"The No Child Left Behind law forces a reasoned and thoughtful look at what's going on" with bilingual students, African-Americans, Hispanics and special needs students among others, Michael Sentance , the Bush administration's regional education representative, told the Herald. "Some children aren't being held to the same standard and e law] tries to force attention to those groups."
MASS. 4TH-GRADERS NO. 1 IN READING
Boston Globe, The (MA) - Friday, June 20, 2003
Author: Michele Kurtz, and Anand Vaishnav, Globe Staff
Massachusetts fourth-graders topped the nation in reading last year, with gains in scores that one federal education official yesterday characterized as "explosive." …The gains here were "virtually unseen throughout the country," said Michael Sentance , the New England representative from the US Department of Education and the Bay State's former secretary of education. "Many states are going to come to Massachusetts to try to find out more about what it is that is working."
US EDUCATION LAW DRAWING DEBATE ON COSTS, LOCAL CONTROL - FEAR IS FUNDS MAY BE `LEFT BEHIND'
Boston Globe, The (MA) - Thursday, June 12, 2003
Author: James Vaznis, Globe Staff
As the nation's new education law creates growing unease among a number of states, political leaders, and education advocates, a movement is under way in New Hampshire to allow school districts to opt out of the stringent requirements and to prevent any state funds from being used to implement the sweeping federal changes. …In fact, Michael Sentance , the New England representative for the US Department of Education, suspects resistance in New Hampshire to No Child Left Behind has more to do with establishing an accountability system than funding - an assertion that the federal law critics deny. Sentance insists that the federal government will provide New Hampshire with enough money to make the sweeping changes. "It's more resistance to accountability than to funding," Sentance said.
U.S. Dept. of Ed. rep urges better math instruction
Sentinel & Enterprise (Fitchburg, MA) - Thursday, April 11, 2002
Author: Donna Caruso Correspondent
GARDNER -- Math instruction will decide the success of workers in the United States, and businesses can help to teach students the skills needed to compete.Michael Sentance , U.S. Department Of Education regional representative, brought that message to the audience Wednesday at a School-to-Career breakfast sponsored by the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce. Most of our country's problems (supplying businesses with skilled workers) relate to teaching math. There is a math phobia that needs to be addressed -- probably best done by businesses working with AIM (Associated Industries of Massachusetts)," Sentance, the guest speaker, said. Further, he said, "people tend to think that if they weren't good at math, their children won't be. Add to this poor math teaching" and the shortage of skilled workers results. "Last year alone," he said, "195,000 visas were granted for skilled workers, indicating the level of need we are not meeting domestically. We need to do a better job preparing youth for the future." Sentance noted that the National Science Foundation has had success with a business/school initiative that results in better scores and achievement. That program is up for funding, he said. Sentance described the four core principles of the Bush Administration Education Plan called, the No Child Left Behind Act: close the achievement gap, focus on what works, reduce bureaucracy and increase flexibility, and increase options for students. He said that the next 18 months are critical to implementing the program. While analyzing math teachers in Massachusetts, Sentance learned that in 1994, 92 percent of high school math teachers had a degree in math. By 1998, that number had surprisingly dropped to 88 percent. "This means 1 out of 6 high school math teachers do not have a concentration in math." At the middle-school level, in 1994, 68 percent of math teachers had a degree in math. By 1998 that number dropped to 54 percent -- barely half. That, Sentance said, "is a very big problem. We can take care (of teaching) our elite students, and they can compete anywhere in the world, but we need to get the depth and breadth of math and science skills to the greater population." He backed up his statements by citing the National Security report authored by Warren Rudman and Gary Hart written prior to the World Trade Center attack, which concluded: "The single greatest domestic threat is the lack of higher (language, math and science) skills among our population." In his opening remarks to the large audience of educators and businessmen, Michael Ellis, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce noted that the school-to-career program does not depend on traditional school funding from the state. "My charge to you," he said, "is never before has the need been greater to help us get more of your associates and colleagues involved in this initiative." He described a very good year with the program; the goal was 370 workplace plans yet 511 were actually accomplished. "I am proud, pleased and appreciative of our businesses," he said.
ON EDUCATION - A Pervasive Dismay On a Bush School Law
New York Times, The (NY) - Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Author: Michael Winerip
Abstract: Pres Bush's No Child Left Behind Act is widely criticized across country; law is likely to result in 85 percent of public schools in America being labeled failing, based on single test score; Michael Sentance , Education Dept's Northeast representative, faces barrage of bipartisan criticism when defending bill before Vermont's joint House-Senate committee on education (M)
In all the world, the loneliest people must be that handful of men and women of the Department of Education dispatched by the Bush administration to wander the country, defending the new No Child Left Behind Act. Talk about friendless. Michael Sentance , the department's Northeast representative, sat before Vermont's joint House-Senate committee on education not long ago, and sustained two hours of hammering by Republicans and Democrats alike. You never saw such bipartisan contempt. He looked miserable, but as he bobbed and weaved through the questions, this Bush appointee remained polite and understated. "It is an audacious and challenging piece of legislation," he conceded. "No doubt about it." No doubt about it. Think of it from Mr. Sentance's point of view. How do you defend a law that is likely to result in 85 percent of public schools in America being labeled failing -- based on a single test score? Audacious, indeed. And how do you defend a law demanding that schools have 100 percent of their children reaching proficiency on state tests in the next decade, and then provides a fraction of the resources state educators say is necessary to help the poor, the foreign born, the handicapped meet those standards? Democrats and Republicans wanted to know. Did Mr. Sentance really believe, given poverty's daunting effects, that 100 percent of children could pass state exams? "That remains to be seen," replied Mr. Sentance. And how do you defend a law that gives the federal government unprecedented control over "failing" schools -- that tells local school boards when they must fire their principals and teachers -- even though it pays a small fraction (7 percent) of public education costs? Representative Howard Crawford, the Republican chairman of the House committee, urged that the law be modified for rural states like Vermont. And Senator James Condos, the Democratic chairman, explained why this law was so despised in Vermont, a state with one of the most successful testing and assessment programs in the nation. "What the federal government is asking us to do is dump our state educational system," he said. "That's what's gnawing at people." Senator Condos and Representative Crawford wondered, Could the federal government be a flexible? Poor Mr. Sentance. His hands were tied. "Probably a lot less flexibility than people are looking for," he said. The Vermonters were peeved. The state already has its own fiscal crisis -- a record 40 towns voting down school budgets -- and now they were faced with this underfinanced federal mandate. The law allows up to $7 billion in additional federal aid this year, but President Bush has a war to finance -- he may need $10 billion for Turkey alone -- and could spare just $1 billion extra for left-behind children. William Reedy, legal counsel for Vermont's education department, opened the 669-page law to Sec. 9527.A. "Nothing in this act," it says, shall mandate a state "to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under this act." Mr. Reedy wondered, If the federal government didn't pay what the states needed, were states freed from having to comply? Mr. Sentance bobbed and weaved madly, but Mr. Reedy kept asking. Finally Mr. Sentance said, "The act is paid for, and we are paying what we should be paying for." The room went silent. A rare moment of candor. Now they understood. Whatever the president appropriated was the exact amount needed. There was no escape. As I travel the country, I find nearly universal contempt for this noble-sounding law signed last year by President Bush. Tom Horne, the Republican state education commissioner of Arizona, and Tom Watkins, the Democratic commissioner of Michigan, sound virtually alike in their criticisms. The only difference is that Mr. Horne emphasizes that he admires the president and supports his intent, it's just that many of the details are bad. In January, Mr. Horne flew to Washington for 37 meetings in three days with federal officials, pleading for flexibility. He is hopeful, but has no commitments yet. He is particularly concerned -- as is Mr. Watkins of Michigan -- with the adequate-yearly-progress provision. Under the law, to avoid being labeled "failing," a typical school must make a 5 percent gain a year on state test scores. But even if a school does that, it can still be labeled failing. If just one subgroup in one grade fails to make 5 percent -- poor children, black children, limited English speakers, the handicapped, third graders, black fifth graders -- the school is labeled failing. Mr. Horne and Mr. Watkins expect 85 percent of their schools to be declared failing, and that, Mr. Horne said, would be a "train wreck." Mr. Horne says schools should be held accountable, but as a conservative, he also believes children and parents should be. Under this law, he says, you can have a great teacher working with poor children, and the children make two years' progress in one year, but they still do not meet the proficiency standard and that school is labeled failing. And you can have bad teachers at a rich school with good test takers labeled a success. "Arizona will have good schools punished just because they're from poor areas," he said. As for the 100 percent proficiency standard? "Definitely impossible," Mr. Horne said. Michigan was recently informed by the federal government that even newly arrived immigrants must take all state tests in English. Mr. Watkins points out that Michigan's math test consists of 35 word problems. "Is it educationally sound to give a math test and say students don't know math when they do -- they just can't read the problems?" he said. The government was adamant. Michigan was ordered to test in English or be penalized $1 million. "It's time for the feds to come to the heartland and listen," Mr. Watkins said. "They must do away with the bad and ugly in the law. It's turning into a vehicle to bash our teachers and kids." At the end of that two-hour hearing in Vermont, I asked Mr. Sentance how his No Child Left Behind legislative tour was going. "The Connecticut session went on for three hours," he said. And were they hostile, too? "They had lots of questions," he said, before slipping away.
EDUCATION SPECIALIST IS HOPEFUL ON REFORM, MCAS
Boston Globe, The (MA) - Sunday, October 21, 2001
Recently, Michael J. Sentance, the education adviser to three Massachusetts governors, was named the New England regional representative for the US Department of Education. Sentance will be Secretary of Education Rod Paige's liaison to local and state agencies, schools, colleges, and policy makers. Sentance, a lawyer by training, was secretary of education from 1995-96 and served as education adviser to governors William F. Weld and Paul Cellucci and Acting Governor Jane M. Swift. He spoke with the Globe about the last 10 years of education reform in the Commonwealth: Q. As you leave, what's the current status of education reform in Massachusetts? A. We have finally begun to get school districts to focus on what kinds of standards should be expected of their students, how best to assess progress toward those standards, and to start to inculcate a sense of responsibility and accountability in schools and school districts. I'm optimistic that this is finally beginning to take hold. Q. Has state funding been equalized among school districts? A. I think that's one of the great success stories of education reform. . . . If you looked at the spending patterns in the cities, you'd see that they are now spending at a rate which is equal to or higher than many of the middle-income or even upper-middle-income suburban school districts in Massachusetts. . . . I do think that we need to pay attention to the reform of that finance scheme right now. The money is being distributed more on an ad hoc basis than it has in the past seven or eight years. I think that's unwise, and we need to get back on a path where we're distributing the funds in an equitable fashion, and one which follows a formula. Q. Are the slight increases in scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exam evidence of real improvement or a statistical blip as some claim? A. I don't think the MCAS is a test which you can prepare for. The argument that this is simply evidence of greater test-taking skills is, frankly, nonsense. The MCAS test is a varied test with open-ended questions, with essay questions, as well as more uniform fill-in-the-bubble questions you would see on the SAT. I think what we're seeing here is actual achievement, actual improvement in teaching and classrooms, actual improvement in the understanding of students. Q. Education researchers are against high-stakes testing, yet policy makers and legislators continue to push for them. Why? A. I don't think there's been enough research to have these research bodies come out and say decisively one way or another whether this is a good thing or not. . . . I think what we're trying to do here is guarantee to parents and colleges and future employers that these kids are actually literate, they can do some mathematics, and are able to demonstrate it. One of the great things about the MCAS test is it is a varied test. It is not a simple test, and there are many different ways of demonstrating competencies on that test, which makes it different than tests used in many other states. While I recognize the research, I think it's too early to come down on the side that this is a flawed strategy. Q. What is the future of the MCAS, given the opposition in many communities? A. I personally believe we will see a significant increase in the number of students passing, and I believe that, because I've listened to students, I've listened to principals and to people who are in the schools talk about the seriousness with which students have taken on this challenge. Given the state's history of local control, can the state really enforce an overhaul of public schools? Over the past couple of years, we have seen significant problems with the competencies of people who are on school committees. I think we've got to do a far better job in ensuring that they are well-trained and focused on the task at hand. We've seen a number of instances where school committees have grossly overstepped their bounds, intruded into the management rights of principals, and have really impeded school reform. The second thing that I think we need to do better is to inform parents about what their expectations should be for their students and how this is, in fact, helping them obtain the kind of education that they want.
Teachers worry new education chief will undercut public school gains
North Adams Transcript (MA) - Monday, May 7, 2001
By Erik Arvidson Transcript Statehouse Bureau
BOSTON -- When acting Gov. Jane Swift chose James Peyser to be her top advisor on education and workforce training, teachers in the field knew they would be hearing a lot about charter schools over the next two years. …Paul Georges, president of the United Educators of Lowell… added that charter schools, unlike public schools, are not required to educate every student, regardless of their language difficulties or special needs. This, according to Georges, represents an "elitism" that is part of Peyser's position. "Charter schools can be very narrow as to who they allow in," Georges said. "Where do the rest of the students go when the charter school says they don't need them? They have the potential for taking the cream of our students and taking them out of the school system." Gorrie of the MTA said Peyser is a "very cordial person," who teachers hope will have a stronger relationship with teachers than the former education advisor, Michael Sentance , who has been considered for the job of regional head of the U.S. Department of Education.
DELAY COSTS THE SCHOOL DISTRICT - TOWNS' BILL ON NEW HIGH SCHOOL ALL BUT CERTAIN TO HEAD HIGHER
Boston Globe - Thursday, March 15, 2001
Author: Scott W. Helman, Globe Staff Correspondent
Late last year, several local communities rushed to get school building projects approved in order to take advantage of state reimbursement rates they knew were going to drop this year. To the chagrin of those advocating for a new Algonquin Regional High School, Northborough and Southborough were not among them. Although Southborough voters approved a K-8 building project before the deadline, the towns rejected several proposals for a new Algonquin, most recently in a regional vote Nov. 18 that would have locked in a 65 percent reimbursement rate. Now, as the communities contend with a 40-year-old high school that's already reached capacity, the district is facing the fact it may have lost out on millions of dollars by missing the December deadline.
…Some school officials said they were irritated that when Michael Sentance , Governor Paul Cellucci's education advisor, came out to speak to both towns last fall, he gave the impression that the district wouldn't lose out by waiting. In an interview this week, Sentance said he had not intended to tell the towns to wait, only to think carefully about their project. "I'm not trying to direct them in one way or another," he said. "I'm just trying to tell them schools ought to be built well and imaginatively and thoughtfully. "I don't think people should build poorly planned buildings because they're going to get more money quickly." ~
Kids failing MCAS are poorest in Bay State
Boston Herald - Friday, December 1, 2000
Author: JULES CRITTENDEN
The top of the list of school districts with the most poverty-stricken students in Massachusetts, released by the U.S. Census Bureau yesterday, reads almost exacty like the bottom of last week's MCAS results.…"Historically, there has been a linkage between poverty and education attainment. That's nothing new," said Michael Sentance , Gov. Paul Cellucci's educational advisor. "That's something we're trying to break with the Education Reform Act." He cited efforts such as programs to decrease class sizes in the poorest districts.
ALGONQUIN FACES TWO-TOWN VOTE
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) - Friday, November 17, 2000
Author: Sandy Quadros Bowles
Voters in Northboro and Southboro head to the polls tomorrow to consider $2.58 million in design fees for a new Algonquin Regional High School. …Supporters say Algonquin Regional High School will soon be overcrowded, and that a vote must be held now to meet a Dec. 30 deadline to be eligible for 65 percent state reimbursement. Committee members say the project has been scaled back since the previous vote to address concerns about affordability. …Michael Sentance , the governor's adviser on education, believes there is not ``a whole lot of risk in waiting'' for next year's reimbursement rates, which he said would likely be similar to current rates. School Committee members caution, however, that Mr. Sentance also stated there is ``always a risk in the unknown.'' ``We absolutely have to address the space and facilities needs in this high school,'' Mrs. Lundberg said. ``There is no inexpensive answer. To wait will not remove the need to do this.''
Editorial - Stay the MCAS course
Boston Herald - Tuesday, November 14, 2000
…"Until the test becomes real and there is some consequence attached to it, there are still too many kids not taking the test seriously," said Michael Sentance , education adviser to Gov. Paul Cellucci. "When this year's sophomores take the exam, that will give us a sense of what the scores look like when it really matters."
Bay State's eyes on today's MCAS scores - Announcement of MCAS scores expected to fire up its critics
Boston Herald - Monday, November 13, 2000
Author: ED HAYWARD
The state releases the results of the third round of MCAS exams this morning, an announcement expected to add more fuel to the firestorm of controversy surrounding the public school assessment tool.…Michael Sentance , Gov. Paul Cellucci's education adviser, said the real chance to gauge student progress will be when the test is required for high school graduation. "Until the test becomes real and there is some consequence attached to it, there are still far too many kids not taking the test seriously," said Sentance. "There are still too many schools and districts wishing this test away. When this year's sophomores take the exam, that will give us a sense of what the scores look like when it really matters."
TIME TO ACT ON SCHOOL, VOTERS TOLD
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) - Friday, November 10, 2000
Author: Sandy Quadros Bowles
SOUTHBORO -- A new Algonquin Regional High School is the best solution to crowded conditions at the school, members of the Northboro-Southboro Regional School Committee said last night. …Michael Sentance , the governor's adviser on education, said at Monday's Northboro selectmen's meeting that he saw little risk in waiting for next year's reimbursement rates, which he said would be similar to this year's. But he also added, committee members said last night, that there is always ``a fear of the unknown,'' in terms of future rates. If next year's rates are better, committee members said, they could resubmit the plan under the new rate.
REIMBURSEMENT RATE CHANGES DISCUSSED \ LITTLE RISK SEEN FOR ALGONQUIN PROJECT
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) - Tuesday, November 7, 2000
Author: Sandy Quadros Bowles
NORTHBORO -- State reimbursement rates will likely stay about the same if the proposed Algonquin Regional High School project is delayed, a state education official said yesterday. ``I don't see a whole lot of risk in waiting,'' said Michael Sentance , the governor's adviser on education. The new reimbursement rates as set by the school building assistance program would likely be ``pretty similar to the current rate,'' he said. He did acknowledge, however, that there is ``always a risk in the unknown.'' Mr. Sentance was a guest speaker last night at a joint meeting of the Northboro and Southboro boards of selectmen, the financial committees from both towns and the Northboro-Southboro Regional School Committee. ``Good plans and good management and creative plans are rewarded'' by the state, Mr. Sentance said.
PRINCIPALS FACE DAUNTING TASK\ \ LEARNING TO RATION TIME IS CRUCIAL FOR THOSE NEW TO THE JOB
Boston Globe - Tuesday, September 26, 2000
Author: Anand Vaishnav, GLOBE STAFF
Walking into the red-brick Joseph P. Tynan Elementary School in South Boston for the first time, Carlene Shavis felt like any new pupil at the start of the school year."It's like, Oh, my God, pinch my arm. This is real," she recalled.And then the kicker: "This is my building." New jobs are never easy, but try being a new principal. As education overhaul hits high gear - with MCAS tests and greater scrutiny of public schools - the demands have forced many principals to transform schools not just preside over them. In theory, the state's 1993 Education Reform Act, the legislation that gave birth to MCAS, was supposed to give principals more authority over setting budgets, hiring staff and running schools. But it hasn't worked in all districts, and Governor Paul Cellucci might propose more legislation this year to accomplish the goal, said Michael Sentance , Cellucci's education adviser. "We haven't given them enough authority," Sentance said.
CELLUCCI PLAN OFFERS MORE SCHOOL FUNDS\ \ MATH, SCIENCE TEACHERS WOULD GET PAY HIKES
Boston Globe - Thursday, August 31, 2000
Author: Scott S. Greenberger, Globe Staff
MALDEN - Saying Massachusetts is at a "crossroads" in its seven-year school-reform effort, Governor Paul Cellucci yesterday offered state money to boost the salaries of much-needed math, science, and foreign-language teachers and proposed a major expansion of teacher training programs outside traditional schools of education. … Michael Sentance , Cellucci's chief education adviser, said the governor is proposing a far bolder approach - and much higher salaries. "We're not talking about putting them higher on the same pay scale - we're talking about blowing it up," Sentance said. "Steve thinks inside the box. We're not talking about inside the box." …Sentance said that states such as Texas and New Jersey already get between a quarter and one-third of their new teachers from such programs.
TEXAS PLAN FOR COLLEGE DIVERSITY DRAWS FIRE
Boston Globe - Tuesday, August 22, 2000
Author: Patrick Healy, Globe Staff
Call it the "compassionate conservative" alternative to affirmative action. Instead of picking minority students for Texas universities based on their race, Governor George W. Bush signed a law in 1997 that guaranteed a spot for all students who graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class. …But aides to Paul Cellucci, the governor of Massachusetts and a Bush supporter, say the concept isn't on the drawing board for colleges in that state. "There are a number of high schools in Massachusetts that frankly don't have class rank," said Michael Sentance , the governor's education adviser. "Those that have high standards have done away with class rank. It may or may not be the best way of looking at this issue." Sentance said a better alternative would be to recruit minority students more aggressively. The governor, he hinted, might unveil such an initiative this fall.
Audit of 'Hamp schools postponed
Union-News (Springfield, MA) - Monday, August 21, 2000
Author: ROSELYN TANTRAPHOL ; STAFF : Union-News (Springfield, Mass.)
Administrators had prepared all summer for the audit that was supposed to take place in September.
NORTHAMPTON - After spending the summer compiling more than 200,000 pages of documentation for a district audit, officials in the Northampton school system learned last week that they won't be evaluated next month after all. …Funding disappeared with a veto by Gov. A. Paul Cellucci of the $3.9 million intended for the accountability program. In January, Cellucci had proposed an independent office to oversee accountability after consulting with experts in the field, said Michael Sentance , the governor's education adviser. "We've come to the conclusion . . . that the more successful model for states is to have an office that is independent from the Department of Education reviewing programs and progress on education reform," Sentance said. The Legislature elected not to set up an office of educational quality and accountability as proposed, which led to the veto. "If we're going to go ahead with school reform in a serious way, we should get this issue of accountability worked out at the beginning of it, rather than two or three years down the road," Sentance said. He said he expects the issue to be worked out sooner rather than later.
DISPUTE RISKS EDUCATION FUNDING\ VETO CUTS MONEY FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
Boston Globe - Friday, August 4, 2000
Author: Scott S. Greenberger, Globe Staff
In a potentially crippling blow to Massachusetts' education reform efforts, a political fight between the governor and legislators has eliminated all the money the state was going to use to hold districts accountable for student performance. …Michael Sentance , Cellucci's top education aide, said the governor vetoed the accountability money as well as the Legislature's plan in order to "force the conversation." "No one wants to see people thrown out on the street here, particularly on the issue of school accountability, but it gives everyone a sense of urgency to address the issue," Sentance said. But Senate President Thomas F. Birmingham, an architect of the education reform law, noted that it designates the department as the agency responsible for overseeing reform efforts. He said Cellucci's criticism of lawmakers' failure to override the veto or adopt his substitute is like "the bank robber blaming the bank guard for failing to stop him."
CHANCELLOR APPOINTMENT MAY BOOST CELLUCCI
Boston Globe - Tuesday, July 18, 2000
Author: Patrick Healy, GLOBE STAFF
Massachusetts officials plan to name Judith I. Gill as the state's next chancellor of higher education, an appointment that will probably strengthen Governor Paul Cellucci's influence over public colleges. Gill, who is now acting chancellor, would be the first woman to lead the public college system if the Board of Higher Education appoints her. A vote is expected within weeks. According to state government sources, Cellucci recently threw his support to Gill after refereeing a bid for the post by his chief education adviser, Michael Sentance . Two state officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Sentance argued against Gill, saying she was an insider who might be loath to press for reforms on college campuses. According to the officials, Sentance contended that Massachusetts' public colleges need to improve academic standards and graduation rates. Only five of the nine state colleges exceed the national average of 43 percent of students graduating in six years. Sentance declined yesterday to discuss Gill's candidacy. He said he had expressed interest in the job early on but no longer sought it.
AUDIT HITS LAWRENCE SCHOOL MANAGERS
Boston Globe - Wednesday, May 31, 2000
Author: Doreen Iudica Vigue, GLOBE STAFF
The head of the state's school audit board said yesterday the final audit of the troubled Lawrence schools shows they are in dire need of state oversight - but he stopped short of calling for an immediate state takeover. Michael Sentance , the governor's education adviser, said his office will recommend the state Department of Education tighten its grip on Lawrence schools and assign an accountability team to oversee the district. The team, which has not yet been formed, would oversee all financial, personnel, and management decisions made by Lawrence school officials, would help the schools steer clear of political influence, and would work with the local school board, Sentance said. It is time, he said, the state took more responsibility for Lawrence's shortfalls. "A takeover is premature, but there are clear warning signs that things are awry and if things don't change, there could be a takeover in several years," said Sentance, head of the state's Education Management Accountability Board. He will be discussing the recommendation with his full audit board on Tuesday when the final audit is presented. Sentance has called the management of the Lawrence schools "horrific" and said the local school department had failed to help staff and students despite huge increases in state funding.
RACE GAP ENDURES ON MCAS RESULTS\ MINORITY LEADERS, STATE PLAN TALKS
Boston Globe - Friday, May 19, 2000
Author: Doreen Iudica Vigue, GLOBE STAFF
State education officials, alarmed by two years of consistent gaps between minority and white students on the statewide MCAS tests, will soon meet with minority leaders to seek solutions to one of the most persistent dilemmas facing educators. …"Am I distressed by this? No. Am I surprised by this? No," said Michael Sentance , Governor Paul Cellucci's education adviser. "These are scores that have been reflected by tests given by the state in more than a decade. We've seen these numbers before and schools have not taken steps to address them."
AUDIT OF LAWRENCE SCHOOLS SCATHING
Boston Globe - Sunday, May 14, 2000
Author: Beth Daley, GLOBE STAFF
Calling management of the Lawrence public schools "horrific," the head of a state audit board said yesterday that the city's school department has failed to help staff and students despite huge increases in state funding. In fact, a preliminary draft of what will be a scathing audit of the troubled system found such chaos in management that it could not be determined exactly where millions of dollars in education reform money went. The final audit, due in early June, is expected to contain recommendations for action, said Michael Sentance , head of the board. It likely will lead to increased scrutiny - or even a takeover - by the state, education sources have said. "Frankly, there are things that make absolutely no sense," said Sentance. "They have received an enormous increase in funding over the past seven years. And they still don't have class sizes down to an acceptable level. Teacher salaries are not competitive. That is not easily explained." Lawrence, already under some state oversight for past mismanagement, fired superintendent Mae Gaskins in February after it was revealed she spent more than $600,000 on out-of-state consultants. Gaskins has filed suit against the city over her dismissal. Lawrence, like many poor cities, has been infused with money since 1993 when the Education Reform Act was passed to equalize education spending across the state. Some of its most basic tenets are to reduce class size and to raise salaries. The state pays almost all of Lawrence's $100 million annual school budget. Sentance said accounting was poor and strange staff decisions were made - such as decreasing the number of bilingual teachers when there was a great need for them. Sentance said senior officials from the city - including Gaskins - were invited to speak to the audit board last week. Gaskins declined to attend. But he said other officials "couldn't tell us why certain things had happened. It's this very sad and tragic ongoing saga. The drop-out rate is continuing to increase, test scores are . . . the worst in the state.
OFFICIALS SEEK PROBE OF S. EASTON SCHOOL'S BUSINESS PRACTICES
Boston Globe - Friday, April 14, 2000
Author: Doreen Iudica Vigue, GLOBE STAFF
In another sign of trouble with the way some Massachusetts schools keep track of money, school officials in South Easton are demanding an investigative audit after accusations of shoddy practices by a business manager. …"These are very basic educational practices that are being ignored," said Michael Sentance , Governor Paul Cellucci's education adviser. "It is astonishing that time and again trust and laziness override good common sense. We have got to be able to set up a better system of oversight." … John Ryan, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials, said the business managers/treasurers he knows want more oversight. "This arrangement . . . adds more responsibility to the job, and very honestly, puts the individual in a very tough situation," Ryan said. Sentance said that the arrangement can be dangerous. "The simple fact is, these are the kinds of things that can often be masked by a clever person," Sentance said. "It's something that needs ongoing oversight, and that is something the School Committee is supposed to provide." Sentance added that School Committee members, for all their good citizenship, do not know enough about school finances in many cases to be able to spot irregularities. He said historically, there was a banker or lawyer or other professional on almost every School Committee who knew their way around a financial ledger. But now, he said, hectic schedules and a disinterest in politics preclude many of these professionals from seeking School Committee seats.
STATE TAKING A LOOK AT CONTROLS
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) - Friday, April 14, 2000
Author: Gerard F. Russell
The question of whether regional school districts should receive more financial oversight from the state is in the forefront because of the ongoing investigation of Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School in Charlton. …A similar call for more stringent controls on regional school districts came yesterday from Michael Sentance , chairman of the state's Education Management and Accountability Board. Mr. Sentance said his board began work in 1997 and periodically audits schools and looks at their operations over 10 years. ``We need to get school committees to better understand what their responsibility is. We need to get superintendents to understand what kind of models are out there that they could use to make sure there are two sets of eyes to provide the checks and balances,'' Mr. Sentance said. Mr. Sentance said he would assist Worcester District Attorney John J. Conte's probe if requested, but has not been asked. The auditors used by the board are from the Department of Revenue's Division of Local Services.
SOME WISHES UNANSWERED AS SCHOOLS SORT PRIORITIES
Boston Globe - Saturday, April 1, 2000
Author: Tara Yaekel, Globe Correspondent
In South Hadley, baseball and softball uniforms will remain in storage next year, as school officials face facts: they don't have the money to fund freshman sports teams.
…"The reality is that people sometimes enter into collective bargaining issues that are unwise, and put a pressure on the school budget that can't be funded unless you decrease spending in other areas," said Michael Sentance , the governor's education adviser, who oversees school district audits. Often, many of the extras have to be shelved for another year and cutting them can be painful.
MORE MONEY HASN'T MEANT BETTER SCORES, REPORT SAYS
Boston Globe - Friday, March 10, 2000
Author: Beth Daley, GLOBE STAFF
WALTHAM - Seven years after the state embarked on a multi billion-dollar spending plan to turn out better students, there is still no clear link between the education reform money and improved test scores, a report released yesterday found. …While money alone will not make test scores rise, the few districts that strictly followed education reform's rules and had strong leadership saw test scores jump, officials said. "Do I think the dollars have led to student achievement? No," said Michael Sentance , Cellucci's education adviser, who oversees school district audits. "But it led to the opportunity of student achievement. I don't think increased funding will lead to student achievement unless we have the factor of leadership."
Principals untested by Reform Act clout
Boston Herald - Friday, March 10, 2000
Author: ED HAYWARD
Many Bay State school superintendents have failed to use the leverage provided by the Education Reform Act to hold principals accountable for the performance of their teachers and students, a Cellucci administration official said yesterday.While state law allows principals' contracts to include pay hikes based on improved school performance, superintendents rarely use the management tool, Michael Sentance , the governor's education adviser, told a Brandeis University forum on the effects of education reform. With the state's nearly $6 billion education reform initiative up for renewal this year, encouraging bold management should be a critical focus, Sentance told a crowd of 400 gathered at the Gordon Public Policy Center forum. "Where improvement has occurred, something more than investment has propelled those districts: clear leadership," said Sentance, who is also chairman of the Educational Management Audit Board, which has probed 18 school districts. In just three of those districts, superintendents used performance-based contracts for principals. "In most districts ... principals were essentially treated as if the Education Reform Act had not been enacted," Sentance's report found.
Cambridge school chief defends reform efforts
Boston Herald - Friday, February 4, 2000
Author: ED HAYWARD
Cambridge's schools chief yesterday defended the speed of reforms she has tried to undertake in the city following a stinging audit that found the district has failed to implement large pieces of the state's Education Reform laws.…Board chairman and Gov. Paul Cellucci's education adviser Michael Sentance said yesterday much of the blame for the operation of the district lies with the previous administration of Superintendent Mary Lou McGrath. McGrath could not be reached for comment yesterday. Sentance said D'Alesandro faces a daunting task, but credited her administration with starting to make important changes. "All of these things are substantial issues," said Sentance. "If you came into a district and found one of these issues, you'd spend two to three years addressing that particular issue. She has multiple obstacles before her."
AUDIT: SCHOOL SYSTEM ADRIFT\ DESPITE HIGH SPENDING, CAMBRIDGE STRUGGLES
Boston Globe - Thursday, February 3, 2000
Author: Jordana Hart, Globe Staff
Cambridge schools have long spent about twice the state average per pupil, blessing young Cantabrigians with smaller classes, more computers and teacher aides, and vast amounts of help for struggling students. But a state-level audit being released today lays waste to the district's almost mythic reputation, underscoring the fact that even a boatload of resources - worth $11,260 in per-pupil spending in 1998 - does little to create stellar students when it is anchored to a chaotic management style. The audit has led some state officials to reassess the importance of funding vs. a coherent set of goals in creating quality schools. The team of auditors compared Cambridge schools unfavorably with such districts as Everett and Worcester that spend less than half as much per student. "It is very distressing. The image I have is of a scull on the Charles River with everyone rowing in different directions," said Michael Sentance , Governor Paul Cellucci's adviser on education and chairman of the Education Management Accountability Board, which conducted the audit. "I was aware of the high level of expenditure . . . but really surprised at how poorly managed the district has been over the past several years."
CONSULTANTS COME UNDER SCRUTINY
Boston Globe - Sunday, January 30, 2000
Author: Doreen Iudica Vigue, and Jordana Hart, GLOBE STAFF
After the revelation that Lawrence schools paid $600,000 to education consultants - with some funds going to lobster dinners, luxury cars and body oil - educators and parents across the state expressed shock at how much money was diverted from the district's classrooms before anyone stopped it. …Michael Sentance , the governor's education adviser and chairman of the state's Educational Management Accountability Board, said his office has audited most of the large, urban school districts in the state and has found that the extravagances in Lawrence are the exception, not the rule, when it comes to consultant contracts. "Most districts use consultants wisely, in a limited fashion and with reasonable funds," he said. "I cannot recall another circumstance that would parallel this in any other school district." Sentance said state auditors are working in Lawrence and will have a report on whether funds were misused in six to eight weeks. Still, he said, districts must be careful about not becoming dependent upon consultants to do the work of a staff member, and he cautioned against contracting out for services that can be performed as part of the routine mangement of a school district.
School funds to be tied to results
Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, MA) - Friday, March 12, 1999
Author: GWENN FRISS
BOSTON - After six years of pumping money into education reform, the state will likely cut back on new funding and channel any increases to steadily improving districts, a state top finance official said yesterday.…Michael Sentance , the governor's education adviser, said he wants more funding for districts that have a high percentage of their teachers earning a certificate of mastery. Another idea, he said, is to have the education reform funding formula add a performance-based factor - such as rewarding districts with a high graduation rate.
TESTING, TESTING, AND MORE TESTING PLAN FOR ANOTHER ROUND OF STUDENT EXAMS DRAWS CRITICISM FROM EDUCATORS
Boston Globe - Sunday, December 27, 1998
Author: Thomas Farragher, Globe Staff
They have been a classroom fixture longer than the overhead projector -- darkened dots on standardized tests, marking answers to questions about Lincoln's assassin, the boiling point of water, or the square root of 81. … Other countries "seem to accept as part of their culture that high academic achievement is important," said Michael Sentance , education adviser to Governor Paul Cellucci. "We don't have that same culture here. We have this whole series of conversations about other things: how the children feel, how happy they are. It's funny -- we heard last year from a group of Japanese educators how happy our children seemed in school, so I think that people can learn from the American experience certain things about nurturing kids, but I also think we can learn something from other countries about high standards."
LOW SCORES, RAYS OF HOPE ON STATE STUDENT TESTS
Boston Globe - Tuesday, November 24, 1998
Author: Beth Daley, Globe Staff
More than half of Massachusetts public school students who took tough new statewide tests last spring scored poorly, while the results released yesterday showed two encouraging areas among elementary and middle school students. …"I would have predicted 25 percent of fourth-grade students failing in every category," said Michael Sentance , chief educational advisor to Cellucci. Fifteen percent of fourth-graders failed the English test, 23 percent failed the math test and 12 percent failed the science and technology test. "I was pleasantly surprised. . . . I think it is ambitious to think everybody will be in advanced and proficient" categories, Sentance said.
LEGISLATORS RIP BILL TO INCREASE TEACHERS' SUSPENSION POWER
Boston Globe - Wednesday, March 4, 1998
Author: Jordana Hart, Globe Staff
Giving teachers the power to unilaterally suspend rowdy students from class for up to five days is a recipe for chaos and erodes ongoing efforts to hold principals more accountable, lawmakers and teachers said yesterday at a public hearing. In a thunderstorm of criticism, members of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Education tore apart a bill proposed by Acting Governor Paul Cellucci that would empower teachers in kindergarten through grade 12 to suspend students without the principal's blessing. "It is the most insidious type of bill ever filed," Representative Harold M. Lane Jr., a Holden Democrat and committee cochairman, told Michael Sentance , the governor's education adviser. Sentance tried to defend the bill, saying: "You give hope there will be more discipline . . . but what happens to these kids during the five days?" …Sentance acknowledged under questioning that there is no firm evidence that teachers lack the support of their principals in removing disruptive students from class. He confirmed that most principals tend to support teachers who, in the long-held tradition, send students to the principal's office. …Despite opposition by the teachers' association, Sentance insisted that teachers need stronger options to manage their classrooms. "If you believe the front line is the teacher and the teacher is accountable, then we have to allow them latitude."
Interim education czar may be chosen today
Boston Herald - Tuesday, February 10, 1998
Author: JACK SULLIVAN
An interim successor to outgoing Education Commissioner Robert V. Antonucci could be chosen at today's Board of Education meeting and indications are the pick is David. P. Driscoll, Antonucci's deputy.Sources said several other potential candidates, including Rhoda Schneider, general counsel for the Department of Education who has served as interim commissioner before, and former Education Secretary Michael Sentance , have bowed out.
BROCKTON SCHOOLS AREN'T UNDER SIEGE
Boston Globe - Tuesday, February 3, 1998
The distortions by education adviser Michael Sentance and state education commissioner Robert Antonucci in Jordana Hart's Jan. 16 news story, "Brockton schools use reform fund for police" (Metro), demand a response. Sentance's concern for our 1996 fourth-grade test scores rings hollow here in Brockton since he was one of the architects of the Draconian Weld budget cuts that removed 200 classroom teachers from our schools in 1990-1991. This increased class size to 45-plus in many of our elementary classrooms at a critical time when students were supposed to be learning the subject matter that would be included in the tests given in 1996 You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why Sentance painted a distorted picture of our schools and community. The five private, for-profit, parasitic Commonwealth charter schools that Sentance and the Pioneer Institute supported have already removed more than $46,250,000 from the real public school systems in five urban communities since fiscal year 1996. Brockton is not a community under siege. How many similar systems have 79 percent of their 1997 graduating class accepted to two- and four-year post-high school programs, more than 1,200 student athletes in after-school athletic programs, a 200-student marching band with a waiting list, more than 400 students in chorus at junior and senior high school, and have an active school-to-career partnership, including more than 500 business partners? JOSEPH A. O'SULLIVAN President Brockton Education Association
Bay State schools winning battle vs. violence - Teachers, students say they feel safer
Boston Herald - Sunday, December 21, 1997
Author: MARK MUELLER
Spitting death with a pistol, a 14-year-old boy this month became the symbol of what terrifies parents when they send their kids to school.Michael Carneal, a freshman at Heath High School in sleepy West Paducah, Ky., opened fire on classmates engaged in a prayer circle, killing three teenage girls. The attack followed a similar shooting in Mississippi, where a 16-year-old boy gunned down two classmates in October. Massachusetts has seen its own acts of schoolyard brutality, feeding the perception that school violence is spiraling out of control, but the headline-grabbing attacks mask a startling reality. School violence, while still a top concern, appears to be leveling off and in some cases declining in Massachusetts after years of steady advances. Across the state, superintendents, principals and teachers say they're seeing fewer weapons and fewer fights…
Educators point to after-school activities as their most potent ally in battling violence, saying such programs keep kids off the streets in the afternoon, when most violence occurs, and teach students how to cooperate with one another…What's more, state money provided for after-school activities under the Education Reform Act of 1993 often goes into other programs… …"It's my understanding that few districts are using the money the way they're supposed to," said Michael Sentance , education adviser to Acting Gov. Paul Cellucci. For example, he said, a recent audit of the Malden schools found that none of the state money earmarked for after-school activities in 1996 actually went into them. "This was a priority of the legislation in the reform act, and this isn't what's supposed to happen with the dollars," he said. At the moment, however, state officials are powerless to act. Under ed reform, school districts are not required to use the money for after-school programs; they're simply encouraged to. Sentance said the state might put more pressure on districts to use the money as the state suggests. "We'll be talking about this a lot more and getting them to use the funds for those purposes," he said. "This is a long-term preventive measure, and if we're going to build on the success we've had (stemming violence), and if we can get kids involved in these kinds of programs, they're not going to be involved in other acts that will get them in trouble."
CELLUCCI LEADS DRESS CODE EFFORT
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) - Friday, June 20, 1997
Author: Brian S. McNiff; Telegram & Gazette Boston Bureau
BOSTON - Lt. Gov. Paul Cellucci led a renewed effort yesterday to allow public school districts to adopt a dress code. A dress code, he told the Legislature's Committee on Education, would create "a safer and more disciplined learning environment." Rep. Harold M. Lane, D-Holden, House chairman of the committee, questioned whether the proposed law is needed. As Cellucci, and Michael Sentance , the governor's education adviser, pointed to the positive experience with a dress code at the Timilty Middle School in Boston, Lane countered that Timilty proves another law is unnecessary. …Sentance argued, "School attorneys say there is a great deal of confusion about the law, and they are reluctant to recommend" adoption of a dress code.
THE PLAYGROUND MADE HIM DO IT
Boston Globe - Wednesday, May 14, 1997
Author: Eileen McNamara, Globe Staff
We could distance ourselves if John Silber had been the youth soccer coach suspended for threatening a referee on the playing field. Few of us, after all, would claim to model our behavior on that of the mercurial chairman of the state Board of Education But the coach sidelined this spring by the board of directors of the Middlesex Youth Soccer League was not John Silber. It was Michael Sentance , Governor William F. Weld's education adviser and the well-modulated voice of reason in an educational hierarchy dominated by a hot-tempered, quick-fix artist. It was Sentance who dismissed as a "distraction" Silber's ill-considered plan to require high school seniors to take the GED exam in order to graduate. It was Sentance who reprimanded a Walpole school superintendent for failing to discipline an administrator who gave a "breathtakingly inappropriate" character reference in court for a high school student who had sexually assaulted a classmate. But, alas, it was also Sentance who erupted at a recent Concord youth soccer game, verbally abusing a referee at least 20 years his junior with such ferocity that he was ejected from the game and subsequently suspended for the season. The confrontation had a familiar ring to any parent who has ever attended a child's sporting event. Sidelines populated with screaming harridans masquerading as proud mothers, know-it-all fathers too busy to coach but never too busy to tell the dad who does coach exactly what he's doing wrong, overwrought coaches so intent on winning the Big Game that they appear in imminent danger of cardiac arrest. Even more familiar than his outburst was Sentance's chastened apology: "It was a moment of anger which was completely out of my character," he said. We believe him. How could we not? Haven't we seen a respected neighbor nearly strangle a kid who missed the shot at the buzzer? Haven't we heard an otherwise rational adult warn a child that "everything is riding on you out there?" Something happens to normally sensible people when they get near a playground athletic field. They conduct themselves in a manner they would never exhibit at the office or in the living room. It would be comforting to find an environmental explanation for such aberrational behavior. Too much pollen on the baseball fields; too little cross-ventilation in those aging elementary school gyms. But, of course, the problematic environment is the cultural one. We place such a premium on winning that we make a mockery of our own cliches about good sportsmanship and the value of playing for the fun inherent in the game. We have draft conferences to select the "best players" for our team when the kids are only 9 years old. We send scouts to check out the T-Ball talent when the kids have yet to figure out how to hold a baseball glove. We invite the "best players" to participate in indoor soccer during the off-season; we invite "worst players" in Little League to warm the bench. Many of us wonder, but few of us ask, just how the weaker players are supposed to improve if we keep lavishing our attention on players who already know how to play the game. We tell them not to talk back to the refs and then we shout profanities from the sidelines when we don't like a call. We tell them there are consequences for their actions but when our best player hogs the ball we leave him in the game rather than risk one in the loss column. We ask them after a game how many points they scored but forget to inquire whether they got any assists. Kids, possessors of the world's most sensitive hypocrisy antennae, miss none of this, of course. That's why a gaggle of 5-year-olds will demand to know who won the kinder-kick soccer game even after we swear that no one has been keeping score. Adults, kids know, are always keeping score. Michael Sentance is one mortified state education official this week. Not just because he lost his temper in public. Not just because he will not be able to guide his team through the end of a competitive season. He let himself and his team down. During one horrible moment in time he caught himself practicing the opposite of what he has been preaching through 25 years of coaching. But Mike Sentance gave his players another lesson, too. He made a mistake; he acknowledged it; he accepted the consequences. When's the last time we saw that level of maturity on display on the soccer field
`ZERO TOLERANCE' POLICY EYED FOR STATE CAMPUSES
Boston Globe - Friday, May 9, 1997
Author: Alice Dembner, Globe Staff
Students at the state's public college and university campuses who commit offenses that endanger others, ranging from murder or rape to pulling a false fire alarm or illegally occupying a building, would face automatic suspension or expulsion under guidelines approved yesterday by a panel of the Board of Higher Education. "We need to send a clear signal to the students and to their parents that we don't accept these behaviors," said Michael Sentance , Governor William F. Weld's education adviser
BILINGUAL OVERHAUL WORRYING PARENTS
Boston Globe - Tuesday, March 11, 1997
Author: Jordana Hart, Globe Staff
…"There is sufficient evidence that limited-English children are not learning English quickly enough and, in some cases, are not learning it at all,' said Michael Sentance , Governor William F. Weld's education adviser. While officials publicly argue they only want to improve education for bilingual students, privately they appear to be leaning toward dismantling a bilingual education system that now costs local school districts almost $300 million a year -- about $6,000 per student, according to state estimates.
SCHOOL CHIEFS' LICENSING TARGETED
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) - Thursday, March 6, 1997
The Associated Press
BOSTON - State Commissioner of Education Robert V. Antonucci is threatening to take away certification from school superintendents and principals whose schools lose accreditation. His proposal, which will go to the state Board of Education next week, is reasonable, said Michael Sentance , education adviser to Gov. William F. Weld. "It has always been our feeling that if you neglect your responsibilities in a district or school, then the commissioner has the obligation to ensure that the children are protected," Sentance told The Boston Globe. Under current state regulations, superintendents and principals can lose their certification, or license, only for misconduct, generally because of "crimes of moral turpitude." An immediate target, if Antonucci's proposals are adopted, could be Lawrence, where the high school faces loss of accreditation and the superintendent has been accused of misspending school money. However, Hudson School Superintendent Sheldon Berman said he thinks the decertification proposal goes too far. "There are a lot of actions the Department of Education can take in the case of an underperforming school, but removing someone's certification is very, very serious. It means that person can't get a job again," he said. Berman and other superintendents said schools can lose accreditation for many reasons, including financial problems, bureaucratic struggles and a lack of school committee support.
Weld launches audit into education reform funds
Union-News (Springfield, MA) - Friday, February 21, 1997
Author: JOHN O'CONNELL ; STAFF : UNION-NEWS (Springfield, Mass.)
Funding for schools has increased by $1.3 billion a year under the 1993 Education Reform Act.BOSTON - Gov. William F. Weld launched a probe yesterday into possible misspending of state education reform funds, but Springfield and Holyoke officials said auditors will look in vain for waste or misuse of the money in those cities. …"The thing about ed. reform is that when you have a lot of money and you have bad management, you have an enormous opportunity for waste," said Michael Sentance , Weld's education adviser and a member of the audit board. The board has not met to decide which districts to audit first, but Sentance said he expects communities with big increases in funding, such as Holyoke and Springfield, would be high on the list. Audits will take place over the next six months.
Bay State officials hooked on phonics
Boston Herald - Wednesday, February 19, 1997
Author: Mark Mueller
A new study has found that the phonics method of learning to read far outstrips the more traditional whole language approach, buoying the confidence of Bay State education officials who would like to see kids sounding out letters in every classroom.…"I don't think we've returned to phonics-based teaching as far as we should," said Michael Sentance , education adviser to Gov. William F. Weld. "But I think we're moving in that direction."
School officials may lose jobs over rape case - Failure to report student's complaint angers ed honcho
Boston Herald - Monday, February 17, 1997
Author: Connie Paige
Old Rochester Regional School District officials should be ousted and criminally charged if ongoing probes prove they failed to report a coach's alleged 1995 rape of a student, the Weld administration said yesterday.Michael Sentance , Gov. William F. Weld's top education adviser, said the state should throw the book at school officials who failed to act on a student complaint about coach John A. Shockro. Shockro, 49, was charged last week with multiple rapes of two female students. "If educators fail to undertake action which is mandated by law to protect the children, then I think there's a fair question whether they should be educators," Sentance said. Asked if criminal charges should be pursued, Sentance replied, "Absolutely. It seems pretty clear the information should have been reported." …State education officials have never used their decertification power to oust administrators or teachers who have failed to report abuse or neglect of children, Sentance said.
Lawrence mayor won't rule out firing school bosses
Boston Herald - Thursday, February 13, 1997
Author: JOE HEANEY
Formal notice of Lawrence's expected loss of high school accreditation came yesterday with a pledge from Mayor Mary Claire Kennedy to replace the city's controversial school superintendent and the high school principal if necessary.…Gov. William F. Weld's education adviser, Michael Sentance , called NEASC's Jan. 27 vote to strip Lawrence of its accreditation "absolutely a good thing." "There is a significant problem here and it has to get solved," Sentance said at the time. State education officials said Lawrence had eight years of warnings and four years of probation on its high school's accreditation.
Super under fire for school's shortcomings
Boston Herald - Sunday, February 2, 1997
Author: TIM CORNELL
The day the accreditation team arrived at Lawrence High School, the science department finally got the go-ahead to put in a science lab, after eight years of waiting.…The past four years have been boom years for the Lawrence schools, as state education-reform dollars have poured in. Yet every year, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges has warned Superintendent James F. Scully that if he didn't fix some important problems, the high school would lose its accreditation. "This guy's captain of a ship that has a hole in it and is taking on water, and he's up on deck passing out Champagne," said Michael Sentance , Gov. William F. Weld's education adviser.
Lawrence school boss asks dialogue with state officials
Boston Herald - Saturday, February 1, 1997
Author: TIM CORNELL
Embattled Lawrence school Superintendent James F. Scully doesn't know why everyone is yelling at him, instead of talking."Everyone is talking about a fight, but no one is talking about dialogue," said Scully, under attack from state and local officials for alleged mismanagement. "No state official has talked to me. I've only dealt with the media. Rather than saying, `Stop fighting us,' I would prefer they deal with starting to talk to us." Scully's spokesman said the superintendent had tried to start a dialogue by calling state Board of Education chairman John R. Silber, Education Commissioner Robert V. Antonucci and Gov. William F. Weld's education adviser, Michael Sentance . But no one has returned the calls, he said. Antonucci and Sentance are calling for Scully's immediate removal because the high school is about to lose its accreditation. Sentance scoffed when he heard the remarks. "Why would I talk to him?" he asked. "We have nothing to talk about." …
Honchos go high-tech as students go begging
Boston Herald - Friday, January 31, 1997
Author: LEONARD GREENE
With state-of-the-art technology and a little computer savvy, Lawrence public school officials have a world of education information at their money-grubbing fingertips.… And now that Lawrence High School has lost its state certification, the computers will really come in handy. Instead of phone calls or faxes about the problems in their district, school committee members can just check their e-mail. "I know of no other district in the state that buys laptop computers for its school committee members," said Michael Sentance , Gov. William F. Weld's education adviser. "I can't imagine why you would do that first." That is "first," as in before buying library books, or before upgrading science labs, or before even buying desktop computers for the school department's classrooms.
Dated data on schools dog state - D-plus grade riles reformers
Boston Herald - Sunday, January 26, 1997
Author: TIM CORNELL
D-plus grade riles reformers The Bay State's D-plus grade for school inequality may have come four years too late. Massachusetts - along with Alabama and Mississippi - was recently ranked among the bottom five states in the country for tolerating huge inequalities among poor and wealthy school districts. But the data used to hand Massachusetts its barely passing grade came from 1992 - the year before the state's Education Reform Act started. "It's garbage," scoffed Michael Sentance , Gov. William F. Weld's education adviser and one of the architects of the reform act, which aims to narrow the gap between poor and wealthy school districts. "The situation they found in 1992 was the reason we did all this work. We spent about $1 billion resolving this situation and it doesn't even show up in the report." Education Week, the national trade journal that compiled the state-by-state comparison, used federal data that was years out-of-date. "We don't dispute what (Sentance) says," said Lynn Olson, one of the writers of the report. "The index may not reflect what is happening on the ground." …Weld is planning to set up a team of auditors to visit school districts regularly starting this year. "It's going to make school districts far more accountable," Sentance said.
ADVISER FEELS THE SILBER TOUCH
Boston Globe - Saturday, November 23, 1996
Author: Eileen McNamara, Globe Staff
Whatever else might be said of it, the impromptu decision by the Massachusetts Board of Education this week requiring high school seniors to take the GED exam clarified one thing about the Weld administration's educational hierarchy. A headline-driven czar outranks a policy-driven adviser. No sooner had chairman John Silber gotten the board to sign off on his ill-considered GED plan than Michael Sentance , the governor's education adviser, dismissed the idea as a waste of time and a "distraction" from the real work of school reform. Only last week, Weld had asked Sentance to devise a plan for him to jump into education reform "with both feet." He had been chastened by his loss to US Sen. John Kerry, Weld said, and wanted to make substantive educational reform a priority in his lame-duck years. Before Sentance could get to the drafting table, the long-time policy maker was big-footed by the big-time grandstander. … We already know we are in trouble. The question is whether we are willing to commit the energy and the resources to do the hard work to fix what ails public education. One suspects that that is what Michael Sentance meant when he rejected GED testing as a waste of time and a "distraction." His own roots in educational reform date back 11 years to his chairmanship of the Maynard School Committee. His commitment to public education is such that he resigned to protest budget cuts he thought were threatening the quality of the town's schools. Sentance is a former Democratic activist, organizing for Gary Hart's and Al Gore Jr.'s presidential campaigns in the 1980s. The irony, according to those who know him, is that it was his trepidation at the prospect of John Silber in the governor's office that drove him into Bill Weld's camp in the first place. Only in Massachusetts could Michael Sentance find himself in the spot he was in this week.
REQUIREMENT OF TAKING GED DRAWS FIRE
Boston Globe - Wednesday, November 20, 1996
Author: Kate Zernike, Globe Staff
A day after the state Board of Education abruptly decided to require all high school seniors to take the GED test, other education officials lashed out saying the plan is an insult to schools and fraught with flaws. "The GED does not incorporate a terribly elevated level of knowledge," said Michael Sentance , education adviser to Gov. William F. Weld. "We're trying to get beyond a basic level to set higher standards for our schools, and we need a test that judges whether we've done that. We don't need to waste our time with a distraction like this.
School-uniform trend fashions Mass. debate
Boston Herald - Sunday, September 8, 1996
Author: Tim Cornell
When 7-year-old Dennis Barry gets dressed for school in the morning, he has only two choices to make: brown or blue trousers to go with his white shirt.Barry and his Worcester classmates are part of one of the fastest-growing trends in education today. They wear uniforms. …"It sends a signal that the school is serious about trying to get the children focused on education," said Weld's top education adviser, Michael Sentance . "Students can come to school and worry less about what have to wear and more about what is important - and that is what they're doing in class."
STATE TEACHER GRANTS SURVIVE
Boston Globe - Sunday, July 21, 1996
Author: Michael Grunwal, Globe Staff
Back in March, the Weld administration was gushing about its $150,000 Attracting Excellence to Teaching initiative. "Massachusetts has one of the oldest teaching corps in the country," said education secretary Michael Sentance , awarding the first Attracting Excellence grants to 136 debt-ridden young teachers. "It's crucial that we attract more of the `best and the brightest' into the teaching profession.
A STATE OVERHAUL? NOT QUITE THIS TIME
Boston Globe - Thursday, July 18, 1996
Author: Michael Grunwald, Globe Staff
…Only the Executive Office of Education is truly disappearing; it must clear out of the McCormack Building by July 31. Secretary Michael Sentance will be a Weld adviser, but 13 of his 17 employees will lose their jobs.
Race imbalance loophole gets Framingham ed $$
Boston Herald - Wednesday, June 19, 1996
Author: TIM CORNELL
…The state board also learned yesterday that the Executive Office of Education had been eliminated. Gutted under both the House and Senate budget versions, layoff notices went out last week, and Education Secretary Michael Sentance would no longer be a member of the board, Education Commissioner Robert Antonucci said. For three years, the office has been a "bully pulpit" on education matters and overseen the charter schools. "The real test is whether education will lose its voice at the top of state government, and only time will tell," said Meline Kasparian, president-elect of the Massachusetts Teachers Asscociation.
New charter schools find publics can play hardball
Boston Herald - Monday, May 20, 1996
Author: TIM CORNELL
They were supposed to compete with the public schools, but it turns out the state's charter schools are getting a run for their money.…"The real weakness in the charter school effort is the infrastructure," said Secretary of Education Michael Sentance , who oversees the charter schools. "A number of different communities have tried to make sure charters can't access the buildings they need." In Hull, MacLean was able to kill the charter school's deal with Temple Beth Israel synagogue by pointing out the public school's advantage. "I told them we were an enduring agency with financial stability able to pay competitive rates," MacLean said. "The temple just happens to be the best property in town for classrooms." MacLean said he needed the Temple Beth Israel synagogue because he is radically reorganizing the schools and needs more room. But Sentance called the superintendent's rationale "clever, but hard to understand." "They've had very little growth over the last five years," he said. "If they do need the space, entering a long-term lease would be costly, rather than simply going ahead and building."
EDITORIAL - Imbalance questions linger
Boston Herald - Friday, May 17, 1996
…There's a lot to be said for Education Secretary Michael Sentance 's view that the state should take control of any district that discriminates against minorities. The threat - it happened in Chelsea - could be more effective in improving education for all than this antiquated statute.
Ed board delays debate on desegregation policies
Boston Herald - Thursday, May 16, 1996
Author: Tim Cornell
Massachusetts school children will continue to be bused for the foreseeable future as the state Board of Education tabled debate yesterday on amending its desegregation policies.…And if a school system treats minorities unfairly, the state board should shake the schools up, Education Secretary Michael Sentance said. "The board should step in and do something about it," Sentance said. "I don't mean with grants and policies. I mean go in and remove the people responsible."
WELD BURIES PROGRAM ONCE PRAISED
Boston Globe - Friday, March 15, 1996
Author: Michael Grunwald, Globe Staff
The Weld administration launched a $150,000 "Attracting Excellence to Teaching" program last Thursday with a ringing statement hailing its commitment to quality education. Education Secretary Michael Sentance , in the statement, announced grants to 136 young teachers with solid academic records. "It's crucial that we attract more of the best and brightest into the teaching profession," he said Just one detail was omitted: Weld wants to kill the program. …According to Sentance's press release, 41.7 percent of the teachers in Massachusetts have more than 20 years of experience, giving the state the third oldest teaching corps in the country. At a time when student enrollment is on the rise, the program was designed to help lure new talent to a profession that rarely pays more than $25,000 a year at the entry level. Sentance did not return calls yesterday.
Video conference reviews education
Union-News (Springfield, MA) - Friday, March 1, 1996
Author: MICHAEL McAULIFFE ; STAFF : UNION-NEWS (Springfield, Mass.)
The gathering of politicians and educators was called the first virtual public hearing in the state.
SPRINGFIELD - There were some glitches, but politicians and educators around the state talked about the impact of the Education Reform Act of 1993 yesterday during a video conference-public hearing. …The meeting was sponsored by a group calling itself Keep The Promise, which includes the state Department of Education, the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers. The meeting, held at the Hotel Northampton, drew about 75 people. Featured speakers included state Secretary of Education Michael Sentance , who helped form Keep The Promise when he became secretary last July.
23 towns seeking charter schools
Boston Herald (MA) - Saturday, February 17, 1996
Author: MARK MUELLER
The search for alternative education has caught fire across the Bay State, with 23 communities seeking to establish new charter schools ranging from the near-traditional to the untried. State Education Secretary Michael Sentance announced the flood of charter school applications yesterday and must winnow the number to a handful by mid-March.
Drunk-drive bust may cost principal job
Boston Herald (MA) - Friday, February 16, 1996
Author: MARK MUELLER
A veteran principal in the Plymouth school district faces possible dismissal over his arrest late last year on a drunken-driving charge, … If Holton is fired, the move will face no resistance from state Education Secretary Michael Sentance . "Educators have to be held to a very high standard if in fact they are going to provide the kind of moral leadership for the students that the schools need," Sentance said.
EDITORIAL - Let's all `Spread the Word'
Boston Herald - Tuesday, February 13, 1996
Let's all `Spread the Word'
…This is how it works: parents will donate books to schools. Volunteers, supervised by school librarians, will sort through the books, making sure they are age-appropriate and in good condition. Then they'll pack the books, which will be sent to public elementary schools where there are many children who don't own a single book. "Give a child a book and a passion for reading and you give that child the gift of learning for a lifetime," said the program's creator, Education Secretary Michael Sentance .
The truth about school violence - Fights often covered up
Boston Herald - Sunday, February 4, 1996
Author: TIM CORNELL
Fights often covered up If you believe the statistics, William Howard Taft Middle School is one of Boston's most peaceful schools, with only five fights all last year. But students express amazement at those numbers. "People are always fighting," they say.
…But across the state, schools cover up the statistics, hoping the violence will just go away. "We know that it happens," said state Education Secretary Michael Sentance . "There's a sense any kind of incident undermines the reputation of the school. The issue was so significent it was written into law (under the Education Reform Act of 1993) - where there was a weapon of violence, there had to be a report to the police chief." But those reports are often not for the public's eyes.
UMass(ive) challenge - What Bulger faces when he takes over system
Boston Herald - Sunday, November 26, 1995
Author: Tim Cornell
…For one, the university has propped up admissions by lowering academic standards. "It's a clear cause for concern," said Education Secretary Michael Sentance , a UMass trustee who sits on the Higher Education Co-ordinating Council.
STATE EDUCATION BOARD BLASTS WELD'S PLANS
Boston Globe - Wednesday, November 22, 1995
Author: Jordana Hart, Globe Staff
The state Board of Education yesterday voted to denounce Gov. Weld's recent spate of education proposals, saying the governor was abandoning reforms that are beginning to work in favor of ''an unproven libertarian strategy based on fuzzy assumptions.'' Though dominated by Weld appointees, the board, in an uncharacteristically combative statement, chided the governor for his proposals to introduce tuition vouchers, eliminate teacher certification and overhaul the education bureaucracy, which would likely mean eliminating the board itself.…Dissenting from the vote were board members Abigail Thernstrom and Education Secretary Michael Sentance . They called the statement overly emotional and bitter. "I am sorry we are responding at all," said Thernstrom, a researcher who has worked for the Pioneer Institute, a conservative think tank.
RULING TESTS EDUCATION REFORM SCHOOL CHIEF BLASTS RETURN OF FIRED MARLBOROUGH PRINCIPAL
Boston Globe - Saturday, October 21, 1995
Author: Jordana Hart, Globe Staff
The Massachusetts secretary of education yesterday lambasted an arbitrator's ruling that a fired high school principal in Marlborough should get his job back, saying it erodes the power of school districts to remove ineffective staff. The American Arbitration Association found that Leonard Morley, Marlborough High School's principal for 13 years until he was fired last Oct. 28, should be reinstated with back pay.Morley was fired from his $70,000-a-year post by the city's former school superintendent, David Flynn, after the high school was put on probation last March by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the region's accrediting agency. The arbitration finding is final and binding, although it can be appealed in court, said association spokeswoman Toni Griffin. State officials are watching the Morley case carefully, saying it is the first test under education reform of the ability of school systems to act decisively against teachers, principals and other staff. "If you cannot dismiss a principal for failing to take action that would keep the accreditation of a high school, then I am not sure what you need to do" to be dismissed, said Education Secretary Michael Sentance . "This will definitely have a chilling effect on districts seeking to take strong action against teachers and principals."
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Boston Herald - Thursday, October 12, 1995
Essays are a crucial evaluation The Herald editorial about the new statewide testing program ("Testing vs. common sense," Oct. 1), raised questions which we are pleased to answer. Some have asked: Instead of investing millions of dollars to design, score and report this new test, should we buy a test already developed outside of Massachusetts? First, the Massachusetts test is going to be based on Massachusetts curriculum frameworks developed by Massachusetts educators. Second, we would not save substantially by using an "off-the-shelf" test because the cost of developing a new assessment of student progress is only a fraction of the entire budget. The major costs will be in reporting results of individual students in the key academic areas of mathematics, science, social studies, English and world languages. This is especially important given the high stakes attached to the results - 10th grade scores will be used to certify students for graduation. The method of testing adds to the cost, but is crucial. While the new assessments will include traditional multiple choice questions, students will also be required to write essays. It's more expensive for people to score essays than for a computer to score multiple choice questions, but the results are far more informative. Robert V. Antonucci, Commissioner of Education Michael Sentance , Secretary of Education
A NEW SCHOOL OF THOUGHT TAKES SHAPE WITH AN EYE TO CIVICS AND THE WORLD OUTSIDE, AN INNOVATION IN EDUCATION BECOMES REALITY - AN ACADEMIC PROMISE - A WORKERS' CLOUD OF DUST - CONSENT TO ADVISE - ENERGY AND COMMITMENT - LINING UP EARLY - SIDEBAR 1 DEFINING A CHARTER SCHOOL - SIDEBAR 2 CITY ON A HILL
Boston Globe - Sunday, September 3, 1995
Author: Sandy Coleman, Globe Staff
…Putting together a school is no cakewalk. "It's a huge undertaking. This is not something that is easily accomplished. I think anybody who thinks running a school is simple clearly doesn't know what they are taking about," said Michael Sentance , acting state secretary of education. "There are many laws and regulations they have to comply with and they have to fully understand." …Currently, 14 of the charter schools, which carry the vision of their individual founders, are scheduled to open in late August or September and one in October, said Michael Sentance , acting state secretary of education. Charter schools are being established because of the belief that the improvements needed in public schools are so great that they can't be accomplished within the current structure, said Sentance. He notes that many who oppose charter schools believe that the reform sought can be accomplished within the system and that charter schools drain money from the public school system without equal accountability.
Improved economy blamed for dropout rise
Boston Herald (MA) - Wednesday, August 23, 1995
Author: JOSEPH MALLIA
Students are dropping out of school at a slightly higher rate in part because the improving economy offers more jobs, state officials said. "When times are bad, they stay in school," acting Education Secretary Michael Sentance said yesterday. But when times are good they leave looking for work, he said. Students who aren't doing well in school and feel little connection to the classroom are more likely to be influenced by fluctuations in the economy, according to Sentance.
GOV. WELD FILLS EDUCATION POSTS
Boston Globe - Saturday, July 1, 1995
Gov. Weld yesterday tapped James Peyser, 38, of Dorchester, as undersecretary of education and Weld's special assistant on charter schools. Peyser currently heads the Pioneer Institute, a conservative think tank. Weld also named Michael Sentance , 44, of Concord, undersecretary of education and policy planning since 1991, as acting education secretary.
AS PARENTS PRAISE SCHOOLS, KIDS SLIDE STATE STUDY: PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE DON'T ADD UP
Boston Globe - Friday, October 14, 1994
Author: Jordana Hart, Globe Staff
Most Massachusetts parents give their child's school passing marks although more than half of schoolchildren perform below proficiency levels in statewide tests, according to the first wide-ranging analysis of Massachusetts public education. …The report's author, Michael Sentance , state undersecretary of education for policy and planning, said yesterday that although Massacusetts fares well when compared nationally, "it is not a great field to be compared against." He noted that, as with other states, Massachusetts students are below the academic levels of their peers in European and Asian nations. Sentance said one of the report's surprising findings was the amount of television Massachusetts children watch. According to the report, 22 percent of fourth-graders and 22 percent of eighth-graders watched four to five hours of television each day. Some 14 percent of fourth-graders watched more than six hours of television daily.
STUDY URGES HIGHER STANDARDS FOR MASS. PUBLIC COLLEGES - SIDEBAR: COLLEGE STANDARDS
Boston Globe - Friday, October 14, 1994
Author: Alice Dembner, Globe Staff
…"We were trying to launch a platform that would set some benchmarks for judging what was going on in higher education and in K-12 because the system is supposed to be a continuum," said Michael Sentance , the state's undersecretary for education. "The University of Massachusetts, for example, could be an engine to drive education reform -- by changing their entrance requirements."
Survey: Teens taking deadly risks
Boston Herald (MA) - Saturday, January 9, 1993
Author: PATRICIA MANGAN
Massachusetts teen-agers routinely take deadly risks by abusing alcohol, carrying weapons, fighting and engaging in unprotected sex, according to a statewide survey released yesterday. A poll was administered last spring by the state Department of Education to 1,970 randomly selected students from grades nine through 12.…"When you look at the level of substance abuse by students . . . the question to be fairly asked is, `Where are the parents in all this?' " said Michael Sentance , state undersecretary of education. "The family needs to find out what's going on with their children."
Weld plans tough assault on crime Gov also eyes to urism promotion boo$t
Boston Herald (MA) - Friday, August 16, 1991
Author: ROBERT CONNOLLY
…The Weld administration's crafting of its fall legislative agenda comes as the governor's office has reassigned Legislative Director Michael Sentance to a new post and is searching for a new top legislative aide. Sources said the administration wants a stronger presence in the top legislative slot as it begins to free itself from a full-time focus on fiscal issues and moves to gain approval for Weld's broader agenda.
A DILEMMA FOR PARENTS LOCAL SCHOOL-BUDGET CUTS SEND THEM SCURRYING TO INVESTIGATE ALTERNATIVES
Boston Globe - Sunday, October 1, 1989
Author: Jordana Hart, Contributing Reporter
As the state's financial shortfall pummels local school budgets, even those parents who avidly support public education cannot help but worry about their children's schooling. Because of teacher and program cutbacks and classes with as many as 27 students, some parents have gone a step beyond worry. Our daughter wasn't getting what she needed," said Simon Budman of Newton, whose daughter, Gabrielle, 16, is enrolled in a private Brookline school after two years at Newton North High School. "The attention and focus on individual children isn't what it should be." I am moving as soon as possible" to Concord, said Michael Sentance , a former Maynard school committee member with two children, who resigned recently over school budget difficulties. At an annual total cost of $10,000, his children attend public elementary school in Concord as out-of-town students.
DEMOCRATIC RIVALS DIRECT ENERGIES AWAY FROM DUKAKIS' HOME STATE
Boston Globe - Thursday, March 3, 1988
Author: Joanne Ball, Globe Staff
For volunteer coordinator Michael Sentance , running the Massachusetts campaign for Sen. Albert Gore Jr. of Tennessee is a lonely and often frustrating job. "It's most frustrating because some people have an interest in issues and others have said they would like to help out. But I really don't have a whole lot I'm able to give them to do," said Sentance, a lawyer who runs the statewide campaign out of his house in Maynard.
MAYNARD SCHOOL PRINCIPALS ELIGIBLE FOR INCENTIVE PAY
Boston Globe - Wednesday, May 15, 1985
Author: Associated Press
MAYNARD - Principals and other administrative school officials will be eligible to earn up to $2000 extra annually in incentive pay under a new contact that authorities believe may be a first for Massachusetts. …Salaries range from $34,058 for three directors to $39,381 for the high school principal. The system has four schools, 1000 student, 52 teachers and a $4.9 million proposed budget. Maynard has a population of 10,000. The School Committee has set aside $18,000 for the incentive pay, which because it may promote savings and efficiency may save the town more than that amount, said Michael Sentance , the School Committee chairman.
Boston Globe - Sunday, July 15, 1984
You wondered why there are more Democrats than Republicans? Ample evidence is being provided by two Democratic Party activists who won't be able to make the trip to San Francisco this week. James Roosevelt, state Democratic Party counsel, and his wife, Ann, became the parents of their third daughter a week ago. Michael Sentance , a Hart organizer, had to resign his position as a Hart convention delegate because his wife, Mary Anne, is also about to give birth.
SEVEN BILLS SEEK TO REQUIRE CHILD RESTRAINT SEATS IN CARS
Boston Globe - Tuesday, March 3, 1981
Author: Elaine Gilligan Globe Correspondent
…"It is estimated that in the United States less than 10 percent of children under 5 years old ride in child restraint devices in automobiles," said Lt. Gov. Thomas P. O'Neill 3d, a sponsor of one of the bills. "We come to a legislative response in order to help those who cannot help themselves." Each year in Massachusetts, 1100 children under age 5 are killed or injured in auto accidents, he said. The O'Neill bill would require the use of safety devices for children under 5, would provide a tax credit for those who purchase the restraints and would require a $25 to $75 fine for violators. Before the hearing, O'Neill strapped his 16-month-old daughter, Leigh, into a car seat that meets federal standards in effect since January. The seat, which costs $53, has additional padding, flame retardant materials and a body guard that latches across the front of the child and is secured by the seat belt, according to Michael Sentance , legal adviser to the lieutenant governor.
ELECTION '80 VERMONT\ IT'S CARTER, REAGAN, ANDERSON
Boston Globe - Wednesday, March 5, 1980
Author: Charles Kenney Globe Staff
MONTPELIER, Vt. - They finished second in their respective presidential primaries here yesterday, but for Democrat Edward M. Kennedy it was a painful loss, while for Republican John B.Anderson it was a smashing victory. President Jimmy Carter and former California Gov. Ronald Reagan were winners, too, while former UN ambassador George Bush and US Sen. Howard Baker were losers. …"The Anderson vote hurt us a whole lot," said Michael Sentance , Kennedy's Vermont campaign manager. The problem was, Sentance explained, that hordes of Democrats bypassed their own party's primary to vote for Anderson in the GOP contest.
VERMONTERS AVOID FEVER OF POLITICS NEXT DOOR
Boston Globe - Monday, February 25, 1980
Author: Benjamin Taylor Globe Staff
…Kennedy will spend less than $20,000 here, according to Michael Sentance , the 29-year-old state coordinator from Maynard, Mass. "This is the quintessential shoe-string campaign," he says.