Student Profile: Mark Weber

Mark Weber’s path to the Graduate School of Education (GSE) started with his passion for music. As a professional musician Mark felt most rewarded when he could share his love of music with his pupils.  It didn’t take long for Mark to decide to pursue his master’s degree in music education and become a music teacher. 

Though Mark was always interested in the politics and policies associated with the arts while a musician, his interest deepened once he became immersed in the education system. He felt that discussions about education policy were often skewed and to combat the issue Mark developed Jersey Jazzman, a successful blog through which Mark shares his opinions, research, and relevant news related to education policy.

As his learning and research progressed this new passion led Mark to pursue a doctorate degree with a concentration in Theory, Education, and Policy at the GSE.  Mark is currently pursuing his Ph.D. part-time while working as a New Jersey public school teacher in Somerset County.

"Dr. Bruce Baker is generally recognized as the leading authority in the nation on school finance policy. The chance to study with someone of his caliber, in addition to all the other outstanding scholars at the GSE, is a singular opportunity,” notes Mark. “I've come to realize the other great thing about the GSE is being able to work with fellow doctoral students who are doing their own groundbreaking research. Their work informs mine, and that's invaluable for me as a scholar and researcher."

Only in his second year of the Ph.D. program, Mark has already worked with GSE’s Dr. Bruce Baker to study the restructuring of schools in Newark, New Jersey under the One Newark plan. From their research, Mark and Dr. Baker produced the report “An Empirical Critique of One Newark”, which reviews the One Newark plan with respect to Newark’s children, parents, and taxpayers.  This research has already proven influential, resulting in invitations for Mark to testify before the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus on February 18, 2014, and the Joint Committee on the Public Schools on March 11, 2014, about the One Newark plan.

To learn more about Ph.D. programs at the GSE, click here