The Schott Foundation Names Dr. Cassie Schwerner Vice President of Programs

Cambridge, MA, Nov. 27, 2007 -- The Schott Foundation for Public Education announces the promotion of Dr. Cassie Schwerner to Vice President of Programs. Dr. Schwerner, who heads up Schott’s New York office, has worked for The Foundation for over ten years and most recently served as The Schott Foundation’s Director of Programs and Strategic Leadership.

Dr. Schwerner played a key role in overseeing Schott’s New York strategic philanthropy efforts in the groundbreaking legal victory in the New York courts in 2006, in which underserved public school students in New York City were awarded an $11 billion settlement for school construction. In 2007, the New York State Legislature voted to enact an unprecedented increase of $1.76 billion in aid for FY2007-08. The budget bill also includes a four-year commitment that by the 2010-11 school year, annual state school aid will increase by $7 billion. Other New York education public policy gains call for smaller class size, full day pre-kindergarten, teacher quality initiatives and other reforms. In 2007, The Schott Foundation received the Critical Impact Award from the Council on Foundations for its philanthropic work in New York.

"Dr. Schwerner is an outstanding advocate, organizer and strategic force who has worked tirelessly to improve public education policy in New York. She has accomplished a great deal and will continue to steer Schott’s efforts toward achieving high quality public education for all children, paying particular attention to the most underrepresented students. Her promotion is well-deserved," said Dr. John H. Jackson, president and CEO of The Schott Foundation.

Dr. Schwerner has served as a school finance movement expert on panels at conferences around the country, frequently sought out by organizations such as Grantmakers for Education, the Jewish Funders Network, Public Education Network and Council on Foundations. Dr. Schwerner serves co-chair of the Working Group Committee for Education Organizing, an affinity group within Grantmakers for Education. This group aims to raise awareness among funders of organizing efforts around the country focused on education reform.

Prior to joining the staff at Schott, Dr. Schwerner was a research and editorial assistant for best-selling author and child-advocate Jonathan Kozol. She worked on Savage Inequalities, Amazing Grace, and a number of other projects for Kozol over a ten-year period. Dr. Schwerner received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Boston College, where she specialized in social movement theory. Her dissertation, "Sing a Song of Justice," focuses on multicultural organizing.

About The Schott Foundation for Public Education

Founded in 1991, The Schott Foundation for Public Education seeks to develop and strengthen a broad-based and representative movement to achieve fully resourced high quality preK-12 public education.