1

CAROL SCHWARTZ
A REAL EDUCATION MAYOR
Bringing Depth and Breadth of Experience
Nothing is more important than the education of our children.
Carol Schwartz has had a lifelong passion and commitment to the cause.
Carol’s commitment to education started fifty-three years ago when she entered the
University of Texas to pursue a degree in elementary and special education. Carol has
taken on roles in education that have given her a broad range of experience and
perspectives. She has been a policy maker, a consultant, a national speaker, a board
member, a presidential appointee in education, a public school parent, a volunteer tutor,
and a teacher.
Carol served as Vice Chair of the National Advisory Council on the Education of
Disadvantaged Children, which oversaw all of the Title I programs throughout the county.
She was appointed by a Republican President, and her term was extended by the next
President, a Democrat.
When Carol was on the DC Board of Education in the mid-70s to the early-80s, she led
education reform in the District long before it was fashionable and courageously went
against the tide to do so. She reinstituted standardized tests, initiated a back-to-basic
curriculum, pushed for stronger teacher evaluations, called for ending social promotions,
promoted a longer school day (as our students has the shortest in the country), and as
result of all that and more, saw test scores rise. In addition, she, along with Superintendent
Dr. Vincent Reed, created Banneker Academic High School, consistently one of Time
Magazine’s Top 100 schools in the country.
After Carol left the Board of Education, the Secretary of the Department of Education
recruited her as a full-time consultant. Years later, she was also appointed by another
Secretary of Education to serve as the Vice Chair of the National Education Commission on
Time and Learning. For 12 years, she was the Education Task Force Chair of the Community
and Friends Board of the Kennedy Center. Carol served for 25 years as a Board member of
the Metropolitan Police Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs and was its first woman President. She was a
member of the Advisory Board of St. John’s Child Development Center and for 20 years, she
has been a member of the Hattie Strong Foundation, which provides scholarships to future

CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.

2

teachers and grants to out-of-school programs for disadvantaged children. Her board work
has been all volunteer, which she often did alongside her work on the DC Council.
Carol has also walked the walk of a DC Public School (DCPS) parent because she was one for
16 years. She wanted her own kids to benefit from a strong education in an environment
that is diverse both culturally and social-economically. Thus all three of her kids went to
DCPS from Pre-K through 12th grade. So in her life, both publicly and personally, she has
been a champion for our public schools.
Carol’s achievements, dedication, integrity, leadership, and vision in the field of education
are noteable. As Mayor, along with the Chancellor, she is prepared to make the decisions
needed to move our school system forward.

Continuing Stability with Quality and Seasoned Personnel
Carol has committed to giving Chancellor Kaya Henderson the time she has stated she
wants, which is one or so more years, to make improvements and continue on the current
upward trajectory. And in a system that has experienced so much change, with more
forthcoming in the form of boundary changes, there is a strong need to maintain
consistency with the Chancellor. Furthermore, Carol believes a Mayor’s role is to partner
with the Chancellor in setting policy and goals, and then provide support—not
micromanage or do his or her job.
The mayoral takeover of DCPS, which began in 2007, has had some rocky moments. Under
the current Chancellor, there have been improvements in terms of working with the
community and with educators. Carol was also glad that reform brought stronger
evaluations of teachers and other school personnel. But she has had ongoing concerns that
DCPS personnel have not always received a fair process.
During Michelle Rhee’s tenure, 1,000 teachers and 98 central staff were fired with little to
no evaluations. While we do need to identify teachers and others who do not best serve DC
students, Carol believes we eliminated many quality, veteran educators, basically throwing
out the baby with the bathwater.
Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers writes of the need for 10,000 hours of practice to
become an expert in a field. Yet in the craft of teaching, this insight has gotten lost. Carol
knows from her own experience as a parent in our school system that some of her own
children’s best teachers were individuals who were not much younger than she is right now.

CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.

3

Her kids as adults still remember and talk about the positive influence these teachers made
in their lives. So we must value our good veteran teachers.
Many of the dismissed veteran teachers were replaced by young professionals from Teach
for America (TFA), a great organization with quality people, but its teachers often devote
two or three years to the profession, add the experience to their resumes, and then move
on to better-paying jobs. A study published in Phi Delta Kappan in 2011 found that 56.4%
of TFA teachers leave their initial placements in low-income schools after two years and by
their fifth year, only 14.8% continue to teach in the same low-income schools to which they
were originally assigned.
We need to develop new veteran teachers whose love for teaching will keep them in the
classroom throughout their careers. The fear factor many teachers feel today works against
that goal. On June 3, 2014, The Washington Post reported a teacher saying, “The stress and
paranoia I feel on a daily basis…is frankly too much.”
In the cases when we do experience voluntary turnover, we need to find out exactly why
and use the information gleaned from those discussions to continually improve the system.
To strengthen the ability to retain quality teachers, Carol supports helping them get
advanced degrees through low-interest loans, no-interest revolving fund loans, or
scholarships at moderately priced local universities in exchange for set years of
commitment to DCPS. In the past, Carol has introduced a tax credit for teachers who live in
the city and this is something she continues to support.
Carol knows from her years in teaching and engagement as a public school parent that
often the most gifted teachers are drawn away from the classroom. They can make more
money as administrators or they often get recruited to be master teachers who observe
others. Although it’s important for educators to get feedback from those who are highly
skilled, we must be wise enough to keep our most gifted teachers in the classroom where
they can do the most good. We should reward them financially if they remain there. In
addition, observation of those outstanding teachers in the classroom can be very helpful to
novice teachers.
In all, we must strike a balance between enforcing high standards for educators and
rewarding achievement while creating a nurturing environment that encourages
improvement and a long-term investment in the DCPS system. It’s in our best interest to
create a culture that attracts good new teachers to the profession and at the same time,
keeps the good ones we have.

CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.

4

Moving Beyond ‘Teaching to the Test’
Carol Schwartz is certainly not against standardized testing. When she was elected to the
Board of Education 40 years ago, there were no standardized tests. She fought to bring
them back. She firmly believed that we had to know how our students were measuring up
compared to other students around the country. Even if, or especially if it’s bad news, we
had to know it in order to improve. So although Carol believes that standardized tests are
crucial benchmarks for progress, she never thought that they should be the end-all and beall of instruction and learning. We must not emphasize them so much that they stifle both
teachers’ and students’ creativity. And don’t we want our children to be well-rounded?
A Washington Post article from September 2, 2014 highlighted the approach Fairfax County,
the 10th most populous school district in the nation, is taking, an approach that Carol wishes
to consider. It’s called “Portrait of a Graduate,” a set of attributes each graduate of that
system should possess. Superintendent Karen Garza calls it “a long-range strategic
plan…that will lessen the focus on standardized, high stakes testing.” As Fairfax School
Board Member Janie Strauss explains in the article “We all know we are in an era where it is
not what you know but what you can do with what you know…The content part of
curriculum remains important but if we stop there, we’ve short-changed our children.”
Carol agrees and will work hard with the Chancellor to achieve a more balanced approach.
Carol was also glad to see the Chancellor’s decision to delay inclusion of test scores in
teacher evaluations until the 2015-16 school year to allow for more time for the transition
to the Common Core standards. Carol agrees it would be unfair to force teachers to be
evaluated prematurely on the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and
Careers (PARCC) test, which aligns with Common Core.

Deciding on New School Boundaries
Carol appreciated that Mayor Gray, the Chancellor, State Superintendent, and others took
the first comprehensive review of school boundaries in more than 40 years.
Carol believes the second boundary proposal was much improved over the first, and the
most recent showed even more improvements. We are moving in the right direction.
Carol is certain that any newly elected Mayor can create the opportunity to make some
changes to this boundary plan if they are needed. She feels that all government actions that
require some tweaking, slight revision, or even more significant change can be effectuated.

CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.

5

Her first goal, if she is elected, is to ensure that every neighborhood school in every area of
the city would be of such high quality that all students and their families would want to
attend them. Although we’re not there yet, Carol will speed the arrival of that day.
Surely the road to stability will create short-term disruption. But the most recent proposal
manages the transition as students in the third grade and above are able to stay in their
currently assigned schools, as could their younger siblings. The vast majority of current
students will not have a change, however Carol understands that does not decrease the
angst of families of future students. We will have to work hard with the community on
preparing for any transitions.
One of Carol Schwartz’s major concerns, though, regarding the new boundary configuration
is ensuring our schools are integrated, multi-cultural, and include socio-economic diversity.
When her own kids went to the DC Public Schools, especially at the secondary level, this
integration was among the appeal. She is encouraged to see that the new boundary plan
does set aside at least 10% of seats in every elementary school for out-of-boundary
students as well as 15% for middle school and 20% for high school. The proposal also says
that at-risk students should have the opportunity for 25% of those seats in more affluent
schools. This does ease some of her fears about our schools becoming more segregated,
but she would like consideration of upping those percentages to 15%, 20%, and 25%
respectively. Carol would also like to further examine the boundary that is drawn at the
river, as she wants no part of the city to feel isolated. Carol does not want the clock to be
turned back on Brown vs. the Board of Education, and she would not allow that to happen
on her watch.
On the positive side, Carol enthusiastically supports the proposed opening of new middle
schools, which hopefully would replicate the best middle schools we have.
Carol will not start the plan from scratch. Because of chaotic feeding patterns that have
resulted from school closings, as well as overcrowding issues with more population growth
expected, change has been long overdue.
Thus Carol realizes that hard choices must be made. If we delay or deny that fact, the
opportunities for all of the children, not just our own, will be similarly delayed and denied.
A vicious cycle has ensued in our city. Because of underperforming neighborhood schools,
many families chose to send their kids to better performing schools further away. As the
neighborhood school enrollment dropped so did the resources to that school, thus causing
more families to flee to other schools and eventually resulting in the neighborhood schools

CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.

6

having to close. Now, in those areas, there are no neighborhood schools and the options for
students and families have been narrowed. It is especially troublesome that small children
have to be transported longer distances and spend the day far from home. Ultimately, the
odds get more and more stacked against them.
What Carol hopes the boundary changes seek to rectify are these circumstances. Every
family deserves high quality neighborhood schools with a predictable feeding pattern, and
with out-of-boundary placements still an option.
In addition, a serious issue of overcrowded schools and an expected population increase
may call for more measures. Second campuses of successful schools may need to be
considered. The increased need for facilities also means that we must be smart with our
building inventory. Carol would make sure these facilities are not practically given away to
private developers or anyone else. She will give charter schools the right of first refusal on
our buildings for which the city doesn’t immediately need. And she will ensure that these
leases are not too long-term so that we have the ability to have more access to them. And
we may need these buildings soon, as thankfully this year our school system opened its
doors to more students than any other first day in five years.
We all must face that courageous steps must be taken to provide a predictable, stable, and
accountable system. High quality schools don’t exist in a vacuum. They exist as living
relationships between the community, educators, parents, and the students they serve.
Much of the current proposal creates circumstances that encourage that. So although Carol
does understand some familes’ anxiety about change, there are real opportunities to
improve our system, achieve excellent standards, keep our multi-cultural experiences, while
creating high quality schools for all.

Encouraging Cooperation between DCPS and Charter Schools
Carol believes the innovation and independence of charter schools, and the competition
they provide, have been helpful to our educational system. And they are obviously here to
stay.
Yet as charter school enrollment approaches 50%, we must also think about how charter
schools and traditional public schools can better cooperate as part of a shared system. This
should take the shape of better planning between the two and more sharing of best
practices.

CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.

7

Coordination is virtually non-existent between charter schools and DCPS. We saw this
recently when a science-focused charter school, Harmony School of Excellence-DC, was
placed adjacent to a science-focused public school, Langley Elementary. Carol believes it
would be much better to put a new science-focused charter school in an area of the city not
now served by one.
The lack of coordination was not only evident in the location of the charter school, but also
the fact that the Chancellor only learned of the plan through social media. Carol thinks it’s
ridiculous for the Chancellor to have to become aware of where schools will open through
Twitter.
Carol recognizes that the notion of increased cooperation will face resistance from charter
schools who rely on independence from government, but she believes that we can preserve
autonomy while having the cooperation necessary to serve all students without costly
duplication.
In addition, there is more opportunity for charter and traditional schools to learn from each
other. Sam Chaltain, in his book Our School: Searching for Community in the Era of Choice
examined an older traditional public school and a new, innovative charter school. He points
out that each has strengths the other does not. It’s time to better harness the experience of
each: the institutionalized practice of public schools and the experimentation of charter
schools, and have them share best practices to lift all students in the system.
Carol would also like to see increased oversight of charter schools. We’ve recently seen
several cases of misappropriation of schools funds by charter school managers. We need
increased transparency of the finances relating to charter schools and the other business
engagements of charter school operators to ensure that our public tax dollars are not being
wasted and abused.
In the end, our goals are the same for both traditional and charter schools: to best educate
our children for the future. Carol feels we’re all in this together and we’re all spending our
taxpayer’s hard-earned money. So we have to do it right in a coordinated, transparent, and
cost-efficient way.

CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.

8

Facing the Achievement Gap
Carol wants DC Public Schools to help all students excel and achieve their goals. So while
she is heartened by the incremental improvements in the reading and math skills of DC
Public School students overall, Carol is alarmed that the reduction of the achievement gap –
the performance of African-American and Hispanic students as compared to white students
– has not kept pace.
Based on reports conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, test results at a
“basic” level or above among 4th graders in DCPS increased during 2007 to 2013 in reading
(from 29% to 50%) and in math (from 50% to 65%). However, during that same period, test
scores among African-American and Hispanic children improved somewhat but the gap
remained the same.
When analyzing the test results where students scored at a “proficient” level (i.e., test
scores more desirable than “basic”), the overall results were similarly notable: from 2007
to 2013, the percentage of students who scored at this level increased from 14% to 25% in
reading, and from 14% to 30% in math. Yet, the achievement gap as it relates to math
scores remained virtually untouched, and worse yet, the reading skills test score disparity
between white students and both African-American and Hispanic students actually grew.
Given that African-American and Hispanic children comprise 84% of DC Public School
students, it is obvious we have a long way to go. Carol believes that closing the
achievement gap at a rapid pace must be viewed with a sense of urgency by the next
Mayor.
Widening Resources to Close the Gap
Carol Schwartz would make high-need schools a major priority and she feels it is our
responsibility to provide resources for them that go above and beyond. She will help
pursue every federal dollar available for high-need students. She also enthusiastically
supports raising the per-pupil funding for at-risk kids.
Our city has certainly seen great improvement in the modernization and building of our
schools, due in part to Carol who was on the Council when the Facilities Modernization Act
was approved and funded. Some modernizations remain incomplete and Carol would like
to accelerate the schedule for completion of these schools so that each and every child has
a clean, safe, and inspiring environment in which to learn. But we all know that the facility
is only a small part of his or her education.
CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.

9

Carol recognizes that helping high-need students requires an enormous influx of resources,
and the best resources don’t always take the form of money. These students require more
personalized and more individualized attention. Thus, Carol would tap into the enormous
resources we have among retired educators in the community and issue a call to service.
The call would also go out to region. After completing a review process that ensures
security, these educators would be deployed as tutors and mentors to high-need youth. To
combat parking issues as well as resistance to go to unknown parts of the city, bus service
would pick the volunteers up from centralized locations and they then can be delivered to
schools throughout the District.
In order to maintain a full pool of qualified volunteer tutors, Carol would also reach out to
the business community and universities, who would go through the same review process,
before being deployed.
To enable the transformation we desperately need for high-needs schools, Carol would
expand them from being centers of education to become centers of the community with
afternoon, evening and weekend adult education programs. On the other end of the
spectrum, she would open school-based day care centers in schools with a high percentage
of disadvantaged children, employing the services of qualified professionals and retirees
who would give care to children while their parents pursue their own education or career
development training. She would make sure that wrap-around services, including nursing
and nutritional meals, would be available. Making schools more community-oriented
would connect more families to their neighborhood schools. And as we all know, the more
that families are focused and present in schools, the more everyone benefits.
Longer instructional time could benefit high-need students. According to The Washington
Post on July 7, 2014, seven of the eight schools with extended-day programming for the
2012-2013 school year showed improvement in math and reading. Longer instructional
time cannot be the sole ingredient, but must be seen as another resource. Carol
understands that longer school days are subject to teacher approval at individuals schools.
She would want to encourage longer school days, and of course teachers would be
compensated for the additional time.
Increased hours are not exclusively for longer instructional time but could also include
after-school educational and athletic programs. Carol believes athletics are a great method
to keep all kids engaged in school, promote physical wellness, and teach essential
cooperation and leadership skills. Carol would also narrow the disparity that exists
between boys’ and girls’ sports participation and funding.

CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.

10

Carol believes another way to close the achievement gap is to leverage opportunities to
partner high-achieving students with low-performing peers. This kind of peer learning,
when formalized and structured, is not only good for the low-performing students but highperforming ones as well. Studies have shown that the low-performing student had better
comprehension of complex subjects when explained to them by a peer. Interestingly, highachieving students also benefit from the dynamic in that by explaining the finer points of
various concepts, they were able to strengthen their own understanding. Helping highneed students via peer learning can be achieved within a specific school, or special
circumstances may also allow for inter-school peer learning. For example, a high-achieving
student from a science-focused magnet school could help a lower performing one on a
science project in a traditional public school setting. Peer learning does not need to be
limited to within DCPS. Opportunities can exist across DCPS, charter schools, and private
schools not only benefiting the students, but providing a unique prospect for continued
cooperation among the various systems.
Tackling the achievement gap also means changing mindsets. Tragically, many of our highneed students feel they “can’t” versus they “can.” We need to encourage what Stanford
University psychologist Carol Dweck calls a “growth mindset” versus a “fixed mindset.”
Students need to understand that the brain is like a muscle that needs exercise, you can’t
succeed without trying, and mistakes often allow us to learn the most. This is a valuable
idea we can emphasize in curricula, especially for those students at-risk. And isn’t this a
good mindset for all stakeholders to adopt as we look to improve our children’s lives and
our schools?

Expanding Magnet and Vocational Schools
Magnet schools are also a wonderful way to engage students in areas of interest, and Carol
has a tradition of supporting these unique educational institutions. For instance, while she
was on the Board of Education she co-created Benjamin Banneker Academic High School,
and helped modernize another, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Carol also aided in
forging a partnership between the Duke Ellington School and the Kennedy Center, offering
students one-of-a-kind access to world class resources in the arts. Other magnet schools
provide specialized learning opportunities for District children, from Phelps Architecture
Construction and Engineering High School to McKinley Tech. As Mayor, Carol would
continue this tradition, encouraging more schools to create nationally recognized programs

CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.

11

that cater to the specialized academic needs of District students, much like the
international relations school proposed for Roosevelt High School.
Many students in DCPS would benefit from going into programs in vocational schools.
These schools open the possibility of placing them into a high-demand career. Carol is
sensitive to the fact that the vocational schools of old too often pinpointed minority
students for whom that track may not have been well-suited but who were stuck on that
path with or without their consent. Instead, she would mandate flexibility to allow students
to transfer out of that program and into other vocational or academic programs so that
they could pursue whatever path they want.

Bettering Special Education
Special education is of particular importance to Carol. She started her career as a special
education teacher working with emotionally and intellectually disabled students, ages 13 to
21. In addition, her only and older sibling, Johnny, was a person with intellectual disability
and she helped care for him, including making decisions on his education, most of her life.
Carol has often described Johnny as the person who had the most influence on her.
Because of him, she developed a great empathy for the most vulnerable among us.
Particularly because of her background and knowing the need, Carol has been very
frustrated with the lack of special education programs in the District, both in quantity and
quality. School systems all over the country have had their own special education programs
within their school systems for many years. But, because of stringent court orders over
decades requiring DCPS to pay expensive taxpayer-funded tuition on behalf of many
students to either DC-based private schools or out-of-state boarding schools chosen mainly
by the families, finding the money to initiate our own DCPS in-house programs to help with
all DCPS students with special needs has been practically impossible. In spite of that, some
progress has been made: the present Mayor has pushed for those in-house programs, the
city has been given some leeway by the courts, and fewer judgments have been awarded.
Unfortunately, in July 2014, the DC Council introduced legislation which intervened on
behalf of the parents, obviating that trend and encouraging continued lawsuits with a
mandated shortened evaluation process and a shift of the burden of proof from the parents
to DCPS. This new, misguided legislation may be a good way to get votes during an election
year, but in truth it only perpetuates the on-going problem of shifting the cost to DC
taxpayers to benefit a few while limiting and hindering the development of the in-house
programs all 13,000 of DC’s special needs children require.

CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.

12

Taking a New Approach to Discipline
A class being disrupted by a few unruly students is a constant problem in schools and
undermines learning for all. Why should a student who is behaving and trying to learn be
constantly bothered by one or two misbehaving ones?
Suspensions are linked to a greater risk of academic failure, truancy, and drop-outs. Instead
of suspending students for bad behavior and sending them home, which is unproductive
and hardly a punishment, Carol would encourage taking different tactics. Montgomery
County Public Schools, for example, have successfully used alternatives to out-of-school
punishment such as behavioral contracts, restitution, detention, peer mediation, and
community service. And Carol would like to take many—if not all of these ideas—and adapt
them to our system.
Carol would also propose that students under suspension would be temporarily transferred
to a more highly structured disciplinary environment with other suspended students. Ideally
there would be one such facility in every ward. Within a secured environment, the
suspended student would spend time studying with none of the activities enjoyed by
students at other schools. After that kind of detention, time in traditional school may be
more appreciated with greater hope for changing behavior long-term.
Combating Truancy and High Drop-Out Rates
In the District, truancy is defined by a student having more than 10 unexcused absences in a
school year, and is currently at crisis levels. Statistics from DC Action for Children indicate
that in the 2012 school year, 10% of all DCPS students and 30% of DCPS high school
students missed at least 20 unexcused days from school. More alarmingly, DC schools with
more than 40% of their students classified as truant saw the majority of their students
reading below grade level. Interestingly, DCPS’s own documents show that by 9th grade,
good attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
According to TruancyPrevention.org, students who are chronically truant also sap resources
within the classroom in that they take teachers’ time away from students who regularly
attend class.

CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.

13

Truancy is caused by a multitude of reasons. Young children often miss school because of
instability in the home due to issues such as problems with daycare, sick family members,
and unreliable transportation—all issues that disproportionately affect our lower-income
citizens—and quickly fall behind their peers academically. A vicious cycle begins where
older students simply stop going to school because they are not able to handle grade-level
work. Unsurprisingly, there is a strong correlation between the high rates of truancy and
the likelihood of dropping out altogether.
Truancy also has far-reaching affects beyond education. Students who are chronically
truant are not only more likely to fall behind or drop out, but are at a higher risk for alcohol
and drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, and delinquency. And since truants are more likely to
drop out and never complete high school, this is also an economic issue for the
District: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school graduates earn 38% more
than those who drop out prior to graduation. The Alliance for Excellent Education recently
calculated the economic impact of raising DC’s graduation rate of 52% in 2012 to 90%: $21
million in increased annual earnings, $16 million in increased annual spending, $30 million
in increased home sales, and $1.4 million in increased tax revenues for the District. While a
graduation rate of 90% may be a lofty goal—the national average is 80%--there is no doubt
that any increase in graduation rates will have a positive economic impact on our city as
well as a positive impact on those individual’s lives.
Truancy is a problem that can be prevented. Encouraging students to return to the
classroom, we capture that student before he or she has a chance to become a drop-out
statistic.
Carol believes that any approach to battling truancy must not only be comprehensive, but
aggressive and proactive in nature. She would adapt a program recently launched in New
York City where schools track all absences—not just those categorized as unexcused—in
real time to try to identify patterns among individual students before they become
chronically truant. In the cases where absenteeism dropped, positive reinforcement was
offered in the form of rewards and public recognition. In the cases where truancy
continued, steps were taken to require intervention from social services and one-on-one
tutoring where needed. Initially piloted in a few dozen schools, this program is now being
implemented citywide.

CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.

14

Carol would also bring a greater number of services—both city-run and in partnership with
non-profits—to sections of our city with the greatest need. A 2012 study sponsored by a
number of DC-based groups identified 85 youth development organizations that provided
tutoring, mentoring and GED and college preparation, among other services. Of these 85,
only three were located in Ward 7 and nine were located in Ward 8. (Ward 2 was
represented with the largest number of organizations at 26.) So while many of the entities
outside of Wards 7 and 8 provided services to these students, the longer distance required
to obtain these services created a barrier for these children. Carol would encourage at least
some of these organizations to establish locations in Wards 7 and 8, to better help combat
truancy in this part of the city.
Carol’s proposal mentioned earlier to increase the number of tutors and mentors working
with high-need students in our schools will further aid our truancy problem. These
individuals will get to know the students they work with and can keep an eye on them,
alerting social workers to investigate and intervene before the situation worsens.
Special consideration must also be taken to develop more alternative methods of educating
the chronically truant and those at greatest risk of dropping out. It is one thing to merely
boost a student’s math and reading skills, but it is another to offer a broader array of
educational opportunities. Truancy can also be battled by exposing students to specialized
programs that might be of special interest to them. Here in the District we have great
intellectual capital to tap into to generate such interest. Carol would propose exploring
partnerships with organization such as the Smithsonian Institution, whose mission includes
an educational component, to develop specialized programs for children at all grade levels.
Our numerous great universities can be leveraged for mentoring programs as well as crossstudy programs. Through these proposed partnerships our students can be introduced to
new fields or enhance their current curriculum, all of which may keep them coming to
school.
Expanded educational options can also include vocational and technical training, to not only
engage the student but also to open opportunities so that he or she can get meaningful
employment upon graduation. To that end, Carol would ensure that schools and classes
that offer job training are strategically located in parts of the city with the greatest truancy
and drop-out rates. These programs would offer classes for careers that hold the greatest
economic benefit for the individual student as well as meeting the District’s needs both
now and in the future.

CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.

15

Tending to Adult Education and Our Universities
A State of Adult Literacy Report issued by the DC Government in 2007 indicated that 36% of
adults in DC were functionally illiterate, especially startling because DC is thought of the
most literate city in the country. Truly, DC is a “tale of two cities.” Carol had always made
adult literacy and education one of her priorities while she was on the Council as evidenced
by her securing additional funds to direct to adult literacy programs at the University of the
District of Columbia (UDC). As Mayor, Carol would ensure that appropriate funding is
available to drive down the District’s illiteracy rate.
Carol would like to make UDC a truly academic university and lift its standards to be among
the best state-sponsored collegiate institutions in the region. Remedial programs as well as
the taxi driver training school should be transferred either to the new community college
portion of UDC or elsewhere, with a greater focus on bachelor’s and master’s programs.
Carol is committed to ensuring that DC students get a more highly respected and affordable
university education here in the city.
A special note on Howard University: Although it is a private university, because of its
unique place as one of the great historic black colleges, and such an integral part of our own
history as so many residents are alumni, Carol believes we have an obligation to assist them
during a difficult time. Thus Carol would make advisory resources available if the Board of
Trustees or the Administration would want to avail themselves of such help.

------

Carol Schwartz will draw upon her wide-range of experience as a policy maker, educator,
public school parent, and teacher to make education the top priority. She would work hard
with the Council, her Administration, the Chancellor, educators, parents, students,
community leaders, education-focused organizations, volunteers, and others to ensure that
DC residents of all ages receive the quality education they deserve. Many of our students
have been cheated for too long. Carol will make sure to right that wrong.

CAROL SCHWARTZ
Trusted and Proven Leader on Education
The Education Mayor for all of us

Paid for by Carol Schwartz for Mayor Committee; Robert A. Burka, Treasurer.