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Mark Roosevelt (born 1955) is the superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, the second largest school district in Pennsylvania, and a former state legislator in Massachusetts.


Early life

Roosevelt grew up in Washington, D.C., with two brothers and a sister where he attended the selective St. Albans School.

Roosevelt is the great-grandson of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and the son of Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. He was related to his 1994 Massachusetts gubernatorial opponent William Weld through Weld's wife at that time, Susan Roosevelt Weld.[1]

He earned his B.A. degree in history from Harvard University as well as a law degree from Harvard Law School.


In 1977, he served as campaign manager for the late John O'Bryant, the first black man elected to Boston's school board.[1]

Roosevelt served in the Massachusetts General Court from 1986 to 1994. As a Massachusetts state representative, Roosevelt chaired the Education Committee, "where he guided passage of the Education Reform Act of 1993. The law provided fairer funding of school districts and raised standards with statewide tests that students must pass to graduate."[1] He is credited, along with Tom Birmingham, with passage of a sweeping education reform law.[2] Additionally, he was the lead sponsor of the Gay Rights Bill (which passed) and the Recycling Initiative Bill (which did not). He has not held elective office since 1994.

Roosevelt was the Democratic nominee for Governor of Massachusetts in 1994. The incumbent Republican governor William Weld defeated him in a landslide, 71%-28%--the most lopsided margin for a gubernatorial race in Massachusetts history. Roosevelt's lieutenant gubernatorial nominee was Bob Massie.

During the interim, he served as CEO of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives, Managing Director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, and as a Professor of Politics and head of the Gordon Public Policy Center at Brandeis University.

Roosevelt was appointed on August 3, 2005, to the position of Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent. He accepted this post under the terms of a unique performance-based "Accountability Contract."[3] Since than he has actively proposed a massive reform plan for the Pittsburgh Public Schools, intended to end the district's financial problems and improve academic standards. The plan included the closing of smaller and less successful schools, opening of Accelerated Learning Academies with a vigorus academic curriculum and longer school hours, the moving of several programs, and increase in the number of Childhood Education Programs, K-8 schools and 6-12 schools.[4]

Roosevelt is also adjunct faculty at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College.[5]


Roosevelt met his current wife Dorothy through his niece, who took a yoga class with her. A former educational researcher at Harvard, his wife teaches yoga out of their home. They married in January 2005 and are considering adopting a child from abroad.[1]

Roosevelt has a son, Matthew Roosevelt, adopted from Korea during a previous marriage.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Zlatos, Bill (2006-05-16). "Making a name for himself". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2008-02-23.  
  2. ^ McConnell Schaarsmith, Amy (2005-09-27). "Roosevelt left mark on Massachusetts schools". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-02-23.  
  3. ^ Dowd, Patrick (2005-08-28). "Forum: Accountability for the city schools". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-02-23.  
  4. ^
  5. ^

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
John Silber
Massachusetts Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate
1994 (lost)
Succeeded by
Scott Harshbarger


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