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Lauren Schwartze

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Lauren Schwartze
Senior Associate Partner
Strategic Advising

Background: Lauren Schwartze is a senior associate partner with Bellwether Education Partners in the Strategic Advising practice area. Prior to joining Bellwether in 2014, Lauren worked for three years in Accenture’s Talent and Organization practice on talent strategy, leadership, learning, and change management initiatives in support of global life sciences companies. Lauren has a deep commitment to the social sector and has worked with nonprofits in various capacities. As a steering committee member of the Harvard First-Year Outdoor Program, Lauren helped define and execute leadership development programs, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and efforts to translate the organizational mission into operational excellence. Lauren provided operations and communications consulting services to Jumpstart for Young Children, Inc. and currently volunteers with a local Chicago school. Lauren is a proud alum of Teach For America, where she served as a high school mathematics teacher and a caseload manager for children with special needs in rural eastern North Carolina. Lauren holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Harvard College.

Experience at Bellwether: strategic planning, strategic growth cohorts

Client segments served: product and service providers, charter systems and schools

Sample clients: OneGoal, IDEA Public Schools

Why I do this work: I am inspired by the tireless work of education reformers, school leaders, and teachers. I am committed to my former students and to students across the country. I am sustained by the belief that smart, earnest, dedicated individuals who collaborate with one another in a spirit of possibility, humility, and interdependence can enact systemic change.

Recent Media

Gwen Baker
Lauren Schwartze
Amy Chen Kulesa

Despite some gains over the past 20 years, significant numbers of students are not meeting grade-level expectations as defined by performance on academic assessments. Meanwhile, few schools are able to support the sort of accelerated academic learning needed to catch students up to grade-level expectations.

Evidence indicates this is not for lack of educator commitment or dedication. Instead, many educators lack clarity about how to help students catch up. Common messages about holding a high bar for academic rigor and personalizing learning to meet students where they are can be perceived as being at odds with one another.

Unfinished: Insights From Ongoing Work to Accelerate Outcomes for Students With Learning Gaps,” synthesizes a broad body of research on the science of learning in order to inform efforts to help students close gaps and meet grade-level expectations. This deck argues that helping students catch up is not about rigor or personalization — classrooms need both.

Closing learning gaps requires students to be motivated and engaged to grapple with challenging, grade-level skills and knowledge — while also having their individual learning needs met.

The report identifies what must happen among educators, systems-level leaders, teacher developers, instructional materials providers, and technology experts to move beyond the dichotomy of “rigor versus personalization” and toward a future that effectively blends the two.

Title image for Bellwether publication