K-12 Education

Education Reformer to Watch: Mark Gleason

Mark Gleason

About Mark:

Mark Gleason is a former publishing industry entrepreneur who joined the Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP) in 2010. PSP was created to accelerate the pace of education reform in Philadelphia by increasing the number of great school options available to children in the city. Mark was particularly attracted to PSP’s bold goal - create more high-quality school seats in Philadelphia, a city with some of the nation’s lowest academic outcomes for students.

Mark’s past work in education reform includes leading partnership development at Christ the King Prep School, a Cristo Rey Network high school in Newark, N.J. He also served as president of the South Orange-Maplewood, N.J., Board of Education from 2007-2011. Earlier in his career, Mark co-founded a web venture called What’s Next Media, founded and built a national magazine about books and culture called Book, led the brand launch of telecommunications firm Qwest Communications, served as editor-in-chief of the leading business newspaper in Cincinnati and helped launch a Hispanic marketing group at Procter & Gamble. He has a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Georgetown University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s journalism and communications school.

Current Impact:

Under Mark’s leadership, PSP works with city and state leadership, as well as school and civic leaders, to transform or replace the city’s lowest-performing schools of all types – district, charter and private. In collaboration with several non-profit partners, PSP is leading the development of GreatPhillySchools, a citywide resource for Philadelphia families to learn about all of the city’s K-12 schools. PSP serves as the facilitator for the Great Schools Compact, a commitment of school operators and leaders to ensure that policies, strategies and resources align to reaching the common goal of providing a high-performing school option for every child.

What to Watch in 2013:

Look for Mark and PSP to:

  • Create 50,000 more seats in high-quality schools within the next five years achieving the goals of the Great Schools Compact and helping transform or replace the city’s worst performing schools, and
  • Work with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and state leaders to raise a $100 million “Great Schools Fund” to support the transformation of Philadelphia’s lowest-performing schools of any type – district, charter or private.