People in the News

February 06, 2002 1 min read

Three educators who share the goal of closing the achievement gap between children from poor families and their wealthier peers have been named winners of the prestigious Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education.

Carl A. Cohn, Mary Catherine Swanson, and Freeman Hrabowski were honored as the 2001 recipients of the prize.

Mr. Cohn, 56, plans to retire this year after 10 years as the superintendent of the 96,000-student Long Beach Unified School District in Long Beach, Calif. Under his leadership, the district instituted a number of widely watched programs, such as requiring student uniforms in grades K-8, sending struggling students to a mandatory summer school, and creating a middle school of single-sex classes. Mr. Cohn intends to step down this summer to pursue a college teaching career at the nearby University of Southern California.

Ms. Swanson, 57, is the executive director of Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, a San Diego-based nonprofit organization that seeks to raise the achievement of students who are having difficulty getting at least C’s on their report cards. Founded in the 1980s, the program serves about 65,000 students nationwide.

Mr. Hrabowski, 51, is the president of the 10,500-student University of Maryland campus in Baltimore County. In 1988, he founded the campus’s Meyerhoff Scholars program, which offers opportunities in science, engineering, and mathematics to minority college students.

Created in 1988, the McGraw education prize is given annually by the New York City-based McGraw-Hill Cos. Each winner receives $25,000.

—Marianne Hurst

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A version of this article appeared in the February 06, 2002 edition of Education Week