Paul at Peirce School

Energized Schlichtman brings deep background to key challenges -- rebuild, new super • February 9, 2020

From a joke about his cat, delivered with a trace of a Long Island accent, to a serious presentation about enrollment numbers, Paul Schlichtman reflects a range of qualities that he has brought to the School Committee over many years. 

Paul Schlichtman, School Committee
                            candidate, 2020 photoSchlichtman

The incumbent seeks his sixth term in the April election.

Here are Schlichtman's responses to basic questions to all who take out papers. [read more]

You have three votes. Here are the write-ups for candidates  Liz Exton, Bill Hayner, and Lynnette Martyn.

Arlington Advocate Weekly Questions:

Question 1. (Published February 27)   Why do you feel like you are the best candidate to be on the School Committee?

I view successful school committee service as contributing to a governing team, where nothing can be achieved without a majority vote. My skills and experience in public school and municipal governance enables me to be an effective contributor to the team.

I served four years on the Minuteman School Committee, and 14 years on the Arlington School Committee. I have served in Town Meeting for 24 years

I have also played a statewide leadership role in public school governance, having served as President of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees in 2004.

I also bring the perspective of a professional educator who has worked primarily in urban districts. I have been an elementary teacher, a high school math teacher, a principal, and a central office administrator. My bachelor’s degree is from the City University of New York, and I earned my master’s and C.A.S. from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

Question 2. (Published March 5)  The new Arlington High School project is going to be a major aspect of Arlington Public Schools over the next few years. Is there any part of the project you have a particular concern about or that you would like to focus on? 

The school committee doesn’t oversee the building project; that is the responsibility of the building committee established by the Massachusetts School Building Authority. I don’t have any particular concerns, as I have confidence in the building committee’s ability to manage the project. The members include folks with an understanding of what we need in a successful high school, as well as others with prior experience in completing successful town building projects.


For the school committee, we will need to focus on the experiences our students have while attending school adjacent to a construction site. We must make sure the high school is sufficiently resourced to provide a safe environment conducive to learning. We will rely on the superintendent and high school principal, who serve on the building committee, to keep the high school community informed about how we must work around the construction activity.

Question 3. (Published March 12)  Last year the School Committee mentioned that they would like to increase the diversity of its teaching staff. Do you think teaching diversity is important to APS? Why?


Twelve years ago, the student population in Arlington included 20% children of color; now it’s 30%. We understand our community is becoming more racially diverse, even as we are becoming less economically diverse.


We need to strive to employ educators who reflect our student population, for obvious reasons. Research shows that students have a better school experience when they attend schools with teachers who look like them. Less obvious, but equally important, is that our students are preparing for a life in a global society.


This is a statewide challenge. The biggest barrier is the Massachusetts teacher test, which discourages qualified out-of-state educators from considering a career in Massachusetts. The test is an expensive barrier for applicants, and isn’t a valid or useful measure. The Arlington School Committee sponsored a resolution to abolish this test, with was approved by last year’s general assembly of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.
Question 4. (Published March 19) Over the next year, Arlington will be in the process of hiring a new superintendent? What quality would you look for first in a superintendent?

Last year, we were able to pass an override and a debt exclusion because voters have confidence in our leadership. We need to maintain this trust in order to build upon our success, and we need a superintendent who communicates well with the community.

We need a superintendent who recognizes the excellence of our staff, and promotes our culture of continuous improvement. I find value in a leader with a sense of humor, a leader who brings joy to the work.

As a former teacher, principal, and district administrator, with 18 years of school committee service and statewide leadership roles, I have worked with dozens of superintendents. I have seen how great superintendents make a school system a better place, and how others can impede the work of educators. My experience will help me to evaluate candidates who will be a strong addition to an already strong system.

Paul Schlichtman
Arlington School Committee

Experienced leadership for challenging times.

Arlington Town Election
Saturday, April 4, 2020  Postponed
Rescheduled for Saturday, June 6.
Keep in touch with Town of Arlington COVID-19 updates here.

2020 Virtual Campaign Kick-Off

Checks can be mailed to the Committee to Elect Paul Schlichtman
Kim Haase, Treasurer
88 Park Avenue, apartment 401
Arlington, MA 02476

During the COVID-19 emergency, the Secretary of the Commonwealth advises that no-excuse absentee voting is available now.
Download the application here
, and return it to the Town Clerk's office, Arlington Town Hall
730 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington MA 02476.
Fax: 781-316-3079

"The Arlington Public Schools will ensure that every graduate is prepared to enter and complete a post-secondary degree program, pursue a career, and be an active citizen in an ever-changing world by offering a rigorous, comprehensive, standards-based and data-driven K-12 system of curriculum, instruction, and assessment that integrates social, emotional and wellness support."
Overarching Goal 1 - Arlington Public Schools (Adopted September 27, 2012)

My core principles for public governance:
• Strategic planning and budgeting,
so we obtain maximum value from everyone's tax dollars.
• A culture of continuous improvement,
so we are always looking to get a little better every day.
• A voice for every child, because all our students deserve an excellent education.

• B.S., City University of New York
• Ed. M.
Harvard University Graduate School of Education
• C.A.S.,
Harvard University Graduate School of Education

• Completed National Institute for School Leadership (NISL) Executive Development Program & Massachusetts District Governance Leadership Program

• 27 years of volunteer service
for the Town of Arlington.
• 37 years of professional experience as a public school teacher and administrator.

School Committee - Member (2001-2007 & 2012-2020), Chair (2004-2005 & 2015-2016)
(Appointed to fill the unexpired term of Joseph A. Curro, Jr. on May 3, 2012, and elected to fill the remainder of the term on April 4, 2012; re-elected on April 5, 2014 and April 1, 2017.)

Please visit Paul's school committee blog.

Minuteman Regional Technical Vocational School Committee - Member (1997-2001)
Association of School Committees - President (2004)
President-Elect (2003), Immediate Past President (2005)

Arlington Town Meeting - Representative TMM (1993-2003, 2006-2021)
(Re-elected to a three-year term on April 7, 2018)

Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, School & District Accountability & Assistance Advisory Council, M.A.S.C. Representative (2015-2021)

Did you know?
• The Arlington Public Schools enrolls 6,047 students (October 1, 2019). Our students are 70.5% white, 13.0% Asian, 6.1% Hispanic, 3.4% African-American, 6.8% multiracial. 12.7% of our students have a first language that is not English, and 4.8% are classified as English Language Learners.
• 100% of Arlington high school graduates complete the MassCore curriculum.
• 99.8% of Arlington's core academic classes are taught by highly qualified teachers.
Arlington's per pupil spending of $14,594 (2018) is $1,901 less than the state average of $16,495
Arlington's education spending as a percentage of total municipal expenditures (2018) is 46.3%, below the state average of 49.4%.

Arlington is a diverse, fiscally prudent, high-achieving district.

For "higher academic standards, transparent hiring protocols, and strict accountability measures... Paul Schlichtman... the best chance for a cleansing breath of fresh air." Lowell Sun, June 25, 2013.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Paul Schlichtman • 47 Mystic Street - 8C • Arlington MA 02474 • 781.641.3401
©2014 The Committee to Elect Paul Schlichtman

Last update Tuesday, March 31, 2020

photo credit: Charlotte Pierce, Pierce Press

You have three votes for School Committee.
Please visit the websites of the other candidates: