The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the three finalists vying for Utah’s honored position of State Superintendent of Education are two Utahns and a man from Massachusetts.
If I had a vote, I’d vote for Michael Sentance of Massachusetts. Why?
Why would an out-of-state candidate even be considered?
Massachusetts’ K-12 education makes Massachusetts the best-performing state in the nation and internationally competitive: no other state can make that claim.
If Sentance was an integral part of Massachusetts’ rise to the very top, would it not make sense to hire him to make that happen in Utah?
In a City Journal article entitled “The Massachusetts Exception” we learn:
“It’s common knowledge that in 1983, a federal report called A Nation at Risk indicted the “rising tide of mediocrity” in American public education and called for a school system that would be among the best in the world. Far less well known is that only one state effectively responded to that challenge: Massachusetts. By passing the landmark Education Reform Act of 1993, which pushed content and high standards above all else, the state became an outpost of success in a landscape of academic failure…”
(full article: http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_3_massachusetts-education.html )
So, Michael Sentance has served as the chief education advisor to two Massachusetts governors. In 1991, he was appointed as the Undersecretary of Education for Policy & Planning then as the Secretary of Education in 1995. Sentance joined the Governor’s staff in 1996 with the formal designation as the Senior Education Advisor to the Governor. Sentance chaired commissions on school finance, regulatory relief and accountability, and served on other boards and commissions including the Board of Education, the Board of Higher Education, the Governor’s Commission on School Finance, the Governor’s Commission on School Safety as well as the Education Commission of the States.
He was appointed by President George W. Bush to his position as the Secretary’s Regional Representative in October 2001. Sentance holds degrees from Georgetown University, Duquesne University and Boston University.