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Faculty & Research

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:  Bianca De Barcelos


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.

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.

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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