Mark Gleason, the executive director of the Philadelphia School Partnership, has been named one of four "education reformers to watch" nationwide by the Walton Family Foundation.
Walton, which has given some $1 billion to its education causes, is one of the country's leading backers of parental choice in education, including vouchers and the expansion of charter schools. It believes that choice is the best path to equal opportunity for low-income students.
Besides Gleason, the others named were from Indiana, Washington state, and North Carolina.
Walton said that Gleason was being cited for PSP's goals to "create 50,000 more seats in high-quality schools" over the next five years, while also working to "support the transformation of Philadelphia’s lowest-performing schools of any type – district, charter or private."
PSP staffs the Great Schools Compact, the city's initiative to create more high-performing schools. So far, it has raised $53 million toward its goal of $100 million and given out more than $13 million in grants, almost all, so far, to charters and private schools.
The award comes with $10,000 that will be put back into PSP.