As Arizona Project Director for WestEd’s DistrictsMovingUp, Phyllis Schwartz works to develop a cohesive approach to district support and reform in the DistrictsMovingUp/Ellis Center for Educational Excellence Partnership.
Housed in the agency’s Comprehensive School Assistance Program, this partnership is designed to help implement proven policies and practices that significantly increase student and staff performance. It began in one K–8 inner-city Phoenix school district in 2008, with plans to expand services to other Arizona districts.
Prior to joining WestEd in 2008, Schwartz served as Associate Superintendent for School Effectiveness in the Arizona Department of Education. She led the state’s efforts in school and district improvement and accountability.
Development of the School Effectiveness Division was the Arizona Department of Education’s comprehensive effort to provide districts with ongoing support in improvement, coaching, best practice academies, and teams to assist all schools.
During her tenure at the Arizona Department of Education, Schwartz oversaw the departments of Early Childhood, K–12 Literacy, Special Populations, Education Technology, Standards, Best Practices, and School and District Improvement.
While at the Department, Schwartz was appointed by the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction to serve as his representative on the WestEd Board of Directors. In 2004, Schwartz was named the Arizona Department of Education Administrator of the Year.
Schwartz has been a teacher and administrator in five states—Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah, and Illinois. She also served as an adjunct professor at Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University.
She received degrees from the University of New Mexico and Arizona State University.