Former Aide to Clinton To Replace the Founding President of Achieve

By Lynn Olson — July 10, 2002 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Achieve, which was founded by governors and corporate executives following the 1996 national education summit to help states pursue standards-based education, will soon be experiencing a change in leadership.

Robert B. Schwartz

Robert B. Schwartz, the organization’s president since its founding, will step down Dec. 30. Michael Cohen, a former White House aide and assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education in the U.S. Department of Education during the Clinton administration, will replace him.

Mr. Schwartz, 64, has been the president of Achieve while serving as a lecturer at Harvard University’s graduate school of education. Until recently, the group maintained two offices, one in Cambridge, Mass., the other in Washington. With Mr. Schwartz’s departure, Achieve will close its Cambridge office and move all operations to the nation’s capital, where most of its staff members are based.

“Particularly with the passage of the ‘No Child Left Behind’ Act,” Mr. Schwartz said last week, “the demands on the organization to help states are only going to grow. And having a full-time person—particularly somebody who is as steeped in federal policy issues and has as much history working with the states as Mike does—made sense.”

State Challenges

The 51-year-old Mr. Cohen oversaw the implementation of the 1994 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act while working for President Clinton. He earlier served as a staff member for the National Governors’ Association and the National Association of State Boards of Education.

“States continue to be at the center of this reform effort,” Mr. Cohen said last week, “and they’ve got, I think, a growing list of challenges on their plate.”

Among other goals, he mentioned improving the quality of state assessments and providing more effective help to low-performing schools.

Since leaving the Clinton administration, Mr. Cohen has been a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute, a think tank based in Colorado, where he has worked on such projects as high school restructuring, the student- achievement gap, and urban education.

Mr. Schwartz, a former head of education programs for the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts, plans to remain at Harvard and to work as a consultant for Achieve. “I’m going to be 65 next year,” he said, “and this just seemed a good time to start the process of spending a little less time on the road, a little more time for reflection.”

A version of this article appeared in the July 10, 2002 edition of Education Week as Former Aide to Clinton To Replace the Founding President of Achieve

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP