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Robert B. Schwartz

Senior Research Fellow
Robert B. Schwartz

Degree:  M.A., Brandeis University, (1962)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Phone:  617.496.6303
Personal Site:   Link to Site
Vitae/CV:   Robert B. Schwartz.pdf
Office:  Gutman 417
Office Hours Contact:  Email the Faculty Member
Faculty Assistant:  Annette Granillo

Profile

Robert Schwartz is Professor Emeritus of Practice in Educational Policy and Administration. He held a wide variety of leadership positions in education and government before joining the HGSE faculty in 1996. From 1997 to 2002, Schwartz also served as president of Achieve, Inc., an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit organization created by governors and corporate leaders to help states improve their schools. From 1990 to 1996, Schwartz directed the education grantmaking program of The Pew Charitable Trusts, one of the nation's largest private philanthropies. In addition to his work at HGSE, Achieve, and The Pew Charitable Trusts, Schwartz has been a high school English teacher and principal; an education adviser to the mayor of Boston and the governor of Massachusetts; an assistant director of the National Institute of Education; a special assistant to the president of the University of Massachusetts; and executive director of The Boston Compact, a public-private partnership designed to improve access to higher education and employment for urban high school graduates. Schwartz has written and spoken widely on topics such as standards-based reform, public-private partnerships, and the transition from high school to adulthood. In recent years Schwartz has contributed to three volumes published by Harvard Education Press: Teaching Talent(2010), Surpassing Shanghai(2011), and The Futures of School Reform (2012). He currently co-leads the Pathways to Prosperity Network, a collaboration among a group of states, HGSE, and Jobs for the Future designed to ensure that many more young people graduate high school, attain an initial postsecondary degree or credential with value in the labor market, and get launched on a career while leaving open the possibility of further education.

Areas of Expertise
Sponsored Projects


Pathways to Prosperity Network Institute (2014-2015)
Jobs for the Future

This work is related to the sub-contract to Harvard from JFF’s James Irvine Foundation grant to support Professor Robert Schwartz’s ongoing work and guidance to the Pathways to Prosperity initiative. The funds for this additional contract support the Pathways to Prosperity Network Institute hosted by Professor Schwartz at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Gutman Conference Center October 1- 3, 2014 and ongoing work developing out of that institute. The 2.5 day institute hosts teams of 8 – 14 people from 10 states and many leading experts and advisors from around the country.


Pathways to Prosperity (2014-2015)
James Irvine Foundation

Professor Robert Schwartz will provide ongoing leadership and guidance to the Pathways to Prosperity work in California, particularly around developing a state strategy for the $250M Career Pathways Trust.
Specific activities include:

•Planning and leading three Pathways to Prosperity Institutes held in Clovis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento to help prepare the field for the Career Pathways Trust application

•Providing guidance and feedback on the development of the California Department of Education (CDE) Career Pathways Trust (CCPT) Request for Applications document.

•Providing ongoing consulting to CDE regarding CCPT and best practices in grades 9-14 career pathway, including policies, funding, and infrastructures needed at the state level to support these pathways.

•Assisting JFF in its technical assistance and support to California in its planning and implementation of 9-14 career pathways, using the Pathways to Prosperity Network framework and the existing Linked Learning frameworks and guiding documents.

Travel to CA and other designated sites to coach on strategic pathway planning.


Proposal for International Benchmarking Support (2013-2014)
National Center on Education and the Economy

The National Center of Education and the Economy, through its Center on International Education Benchmarking , is working to build a community of researchers interested in investigating how a small set of countries and states have managed to build and sustain educational systems that manage routinely to produce higher and more equitable outcomes for children and youth. Over the course of the project, NCEE will support HGSE as it builds the kind of critical mass of faculty and doctoral students needed to advance this field through a collaboration with NCEE’s CIEB. This work will position both NCEE and HGSE to play leadership roles in helping build this new field.


Pathways to Prosperity October Institute (2012-2013)
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Since the release of the February 2011 Pathways report, policymakers in many states have asked for assistance in redesigning their secondary education systems to strike a better balance between academic and career preparation. To respond to these inquiries, the Pathways to Prosperity Initiative in collaboration with Jobs for the Future designed a year-long, multi-state initiative to develop a network to support a group of states to move forward with the development of 9-14 pathways.
One facet of this initiative is the Pathways to Prosperity October Institute. The Institute is a conference held in early October 2012 that brings together leadership teams from each participating state (and one or two metropolitan regions within the state) to launch the Network. It addresses such common challenges as the following:
• Providing timely career information, guidance, and exposure beginning in the middle grades;
• Building career-focused pathways that span grades 9-14 and combine rigorous academics and technical education;
• Engaging employers in program design and implementation, including the provision of work-based learning and paid internships;
• Combining funding streams from different sources;
•Mobilizing public support.
The focus of the Institute is primarily helping each state refine its work plan and develop its strategy for beginning implementation as quickly as feasible. Each team is comprised of a mix of employers, educators, workforce intermediary staff, and government officials. Teams are identified in advance based on the kinds of expertise to which they would like access at the Institute, and are matched with coaches and resource people accordingly. The Institute features presentations and panels focused on some of the key challenges identified in the asset mapping process.
The goal of the Institute is for each team to go home with a more fully developed work plan with targets and timelines for increasing the flow of young people through high school and on into some form of post-secondary education or training leading to a credential with currency in the labor market.
The principal Institute outcome is tracking the degree of progress each state team makes in solidifying its work plan and in developing a shared understanding of the challenges ahead. The second outcome is tracking the degree to which states begin the process of learning from one another and sharing information and resources.


Pathways to Prosperity - October Institute Proposal (2012-2013)
Noyce Foundation

Since the release of the February 2011 Pathways report, policymakers in many states have asked for assistance in redesigning their secondary education systems to strike a better balance between academic and career preparation. To respond to these inquiries, the Pathways to Prosperity Initiative in collaboration with Jobs for the Future designed a year-long, multi-state initiative to develop a network to support a group of states to move forward with the development of 9-14 pathways.
One facet of this initiative is the Pathways to Prosperity October Institute. The Institute is a conference held in early October 2012 that brings together leadership teams from each participating state (and one or two metropolitan regions within the state) to launch the Network. It addresses such common challenges as the following:
• Providing timely career information, guidance, and exposure beginning in the middle grades;
• Building career-focused pathways that span grades 9-14 and combine rigorous academics and technical education;
• Engaging employers in program design and implementation, including the provision of work-based learning and paid internships;
• Combining funding streams from different sources;
• Mobilizing public support.
The focus of the Institute is primarily helping each state refine its work plan and develop its strategy for beginning implementation as quickly as feasible. Each team is comprised of a mix of employers, educators, workforce intermediary staff, and government officials. Teams are identified in advance the kinds of expertise to which they would like access at the Institute, and are matched with coaches and resource people accordingly. The Institute features presentations and panels focused on some of the key challenges identified in the asset mapping process.
The goal of the Institute is for each team to go home with a more fully developed work plan with targets and timelines for increasing the flow of young people through high school and on into some form of post-secondary education or training leading to a credential with currency in the labor market.
The principal Institute outcome is tracking the degree of progress each state team makes in solidifying its work plan and in developing a shared understanding of the challenges ahead. The second outcome is tracking the degree to which states begin the process of learning from one another and sharing information and resources.


Phase II: Pathways to Prosperity (2011-2012)
Pearson Foundation

In the six weeks since its release, the Pathways to Prosperity report has sparked a much-needed conversation in the US about the “forgotten half.” While the strategy to increase college completion rates is certainly an admirable one, especially when coupled with increased attention to the link between college completion and the needs of the labor market, the report also highlighted an enormous challenge. If the college completion rate has been largely stuck at around 40% for the last decade, even if we can get it to 50% by 2020, what is our strategy helping for the other half of young people acquire the skills and labor market credentials they will need to be successful in our increasingly demanding economy? These young people come from middle class families as well as from underserved populations and regions of the country. Many have managed to complete high school and enroll in some form of postsecondary education, but because we lack clearly marked occupational pathways with sufficient information, guidance, and support, far too many people arrive at their mid-twenties with weak marketable skills and no credentials with currency in today’s labor market.

We therefore seek a 16-month (May 1, 2011-August 31, 2012) planning and development grant to enable the project, in concert with one or more partner organizations, to launch a major national demonstration project in late 2012.

We envision five sets of activities during this planning and development period.
First, we need to be in a position to respond to the continuing demand for presentations, interviews, and op-eds.
Second, in addition to responding to requests from the field, we need to begin a more intentional campaign to build understanding and support at the national level among key organizations and opinion leaders in the several sectors that are critical to making progress on the Pathways agenda.
The third activity is to initiate some targeted research projects aimed at helping us better understand some of the challenges that must be overcome as the Pathways agenda moves forward.
Fourth, and most important, we intend to work with a partner organization, Jobs for the Future, to design a major national demonstration project to build the institutions and pathways needed in states, districts, rural and metropolitan regions to support young people in moving from high school into postsecondary programs that promise much higher completion and job attainment rates.
Our fifth activity during this planning phase will be to help this larger group of states organize themselves into a “Pathways Network.”


Phase II: Pathways to Prosperity (2011-2012)
Noyce Foundation

n the six weeks since its release, the Pathways to Prosperity report has sparked a much-needed conversation in the US about the “forgotten half.” While the strategy to increase college completion rates is certainly an admirable one, especially when coupled with increased attention to the link between college completion and the needs of the labor market, the report also highlighted an enormous challenge. If the college completion rate has been largely stuck at around 40% for the last decade, even if we can get it to 50% by 2020, what is our strategy helping for the other half of young people acquire the skills and labor market credentials they will need to be successful in our increasingly demanding economy? These young people come from middle class families as well as from underserved populations and regions of the country. Many have managed to complete high school and enroll in some form of postsecondary education, but because we lack clearly marked occupational pathways with sufficient information, guidance, and support, far too many people arrive at their mid-twenties with weak marketable skills and no credentials with currency in today’s labor market.

We therefore seek a 16-month (May 1, 2011-August 31, 2012) planning and development grant to enable the project, in concert with one or more partner organizations, to launch a major national demonstration project in late 2012.

We envision five sets of activities during this planning and development period.
First, we need to be in a position to respond to the continuing demand for presentations, interviews, and op-eds.
Second, in addition to responding to requests from the field, we need to begin a more intentional campaign to build understanding and support at the national level among key organizations and opinion leaders in the several sectors that are critical to making progress on the Pathways agenda.
The third activity is to initiate some targeted research projects aimed at helping us better understand some of the challenges that must be overcome as the Pathways agenda moves forward.
Fourth, and most important, we intend to work with a partner organization, Jobs for the Future, to design a major national demonstration project to build the institutions and pathways needed in states, districts, rural and metropolitan regions to support young people in moving from high school into postsecondary programs that promise much higher completion and job attainment rates.
Our fifth activity during this planning phase will be to help this larger group of states organize themselves into a “Pathways Network.”


The Forgotten Half (AKA Pathways to Prosperity Project. (2010-2011)
Nellie Mae Foundation

Additional funds requested by the PI and granted. Funds to be used for dissemination activities as specified in the ongoing Pathways to Prosperity Project. See below
.We propose to use the convening powers of the Harvard Graduate School of Education to bring together a kind of national board of directors to develop a bold new agenda for action – one aimed at substantially increasing the numbers of young adults who receive the education and training they need to succeed in the 21 st century. Once we have clearly defined the challenge, and prepared a proposed agenda for action, we plan to convene a National Summit of CEOs, Governors, educators, and nonprofit and foundation leaders to mount a campaign to convince the nation that we must adopt a more effective system for preparing our young adults to succeed in this century. This project will be led by Robert Schwartz, Academic Dean of the Graduate School of Education. While the project will be based at the Graduate School of Education, faculty members from throughout the university have expressed interest in participating in this important endeavor.

Associations

Board Member, Center for Education, National Academy of Science

Board Member, The Education Trust

Chair, Education Management Audit Council, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Trustee, The Noyce Foundation

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