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27 Sep 2018

Research and Policy Executive Director, Indiana

Teach Plus
 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Job Description

I. Background

The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has developed thousands of Teacher Leaders to advance educational equity and change by informing education policy at the state, school, and district level and by building Teacher Leadership in schools and classrooms to improve instruction for students. The organization’s programs and initiatives are designed to grow and support Teacher Leaders to model and advocate for educational opportunity for their students in an informed, independent, and solutions-oriented manner. Teach Plus recruits, selects, and grows exceptional Teacher Leaders to advance policy change and improve instructional leadership and teacher supports. In addition, Teach Plus trains and coaches Teacher Leaders to successfully mobilize and lead teacher teams, and empowers Teacher Leaders to be change agents among their peers and policy makers. Teach Plus currently operates in 11 regions across the country.

Teacher-led and responsive to the urgent issues facing teachers, their students, and the teaching profession, Teach Plus believes that every student in America should have an opportunity to learn and achieve at their maximum potential in an education system that is defined by equity for all learners, responsiveness to individual student needs, and the ability to prepare students for success in an innovation economy.  Student access to excellent, empowered, and diverse Teacher Leaders in our schools and educational system is a critical lever to attaining these goals.

Teach Plus is having real impact and has a track record of ensuring that teacher advocacy results in improved policies and supports in schools and districts. The organization’s work has led to: improvements in federal and state policies and local teachers’ contracts; new programming to increase high-needs students’ access to strong teachers; nationally significant teacher-driven research and reports; and greater media attention to the voice of change-oriented teachers. Teach Plus attracts top talent internally: bright and relentlessly focused professionals with a deep commitment to Teach Plus’ mission and to each other. Together, they have given the field dozens of proof points that demonstrate how Teacher Leaders can be valuable partners in shaping educational policy and practice, establishing Teach Plus as a sector leader at the district, state, federal, and union levels and, above all, among teachers themselves.

II. Opportunity

Teach Plus seeks a strategic, visionary Executive Director to lead its Indiana region with a passion for Teacher Leadership and for expanding educational opportunity and outcomes for Indiana students. The Executive Director will have overall management responsibility for Teach Plus’ signature Policy Fellowship and teacher-led instructional practice programs in the region.  The ideal candidate will bring dedicated experience and expertise in educational policy, a commitment to teacher-led professional development and distributed leadership in schools, and a strong ability to build public, private, and philanthropic partnerships and relationships that benefit students.

Recent impact in Indiana has been extraordinary. In 2017, Indiana Teaching Policy Fellows worked alongside the Indiana Department of Education to facilitate community meetings on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) across the state. Their recommendations were a significant part of Indiana’s newly-enacted laws on assessment and career pathways for teachers, and of Indiana’s ESSA plan. In 2018, Teach Plus Fellows helped to craft and provide feedback on the creation of the Department of Education’s Residency Guidance Document. Teach Plus was invited to serve on a planning committee dedicated to creating this guidance document on creating and implementing a teacher residency model.

Teach Plus Indiana Policy Fellows have testified before the Indiana House Committee on Education and the Indiana Senate Committee on Education and Career Development. Fellows have published policy briefs and authored op-eds on key issues such as teacher retention, development, evaluation, compensation, and preparation, as well as on issues impacting the success of students.  Their works have been published in Chalkbeat, the Huffington Post, the Indianapolis Business Journal, the Indianapolis Recorder, the Indianapolis Star, Nuvo, The Atlantic, and WFYI’s “No Limits”.

Recently, Teach Plus Indiana selected 40 exceptional educators to participate in the 2018-19 Teaching Policy Fellowship, from traditional district and public charter schools across the Hoosier State.  Teach Plus Teacher Leaders have held multiple awards and distinctions, including Indiana Teacher of the Year, and hold Teacher Leadership roles in their respective schools and districts.  They are agents of change for Indiana.

The incoming Executive Director will be well positioned to expand the fellowship and take on other issues that teachers are passionate about that could be layered into the existing work. S/he will also prioritize the expansion of the instructional practice portfolio. The Executive Director will lead a small team that will continue to elevate teacher voice and create additional opportunities for Teacher Leaders to engage on critical policy and instructional issues.

You can read more about the Indiana region and its strategy here.

Responsibilities

The Executive Director will be expected to set the overall vision and strategy for the Indiana region and manage a team towards that vision. Specifically, s/he will further the work by continuing to:

Spur policy-focused change to benefit students in Indiana

The Executive Director will serve as the face of Teach Plus Indiana and build relationships that enable teachers to have an impact on critical policy issues, by:

  • Establishing strong relationships and effective partnerships among Teach Plus, state education leaders, local districts, and other local educational organizations;
  • Building a strong network of strategic partners to ensure that Teach Plus maximizes its impact in Indiana; and
  • Writing op-eds, connecting teachers to media contacts, and actively pursuing opportunities for Teach Plus teachers to showcase their work and ideas.

Activate a growing network of Indiana Teacher Leaders

The Executive Director will develop the skills of a cohort of Teacher Leaders to engage in policy and advocacy discussions at the state level and create a broad community of change-oriented teachers to influence district policies, through:

  • Leading the Indiana Policy Fellowship to support and grow the leadership skills and competencies of the 2018-19 Fellows to achieve change in state policy by testifying before state legislatures, meeting with lawmakers, publishing reports, policy briefs, and op-eds—and by mobilizing teachers in their school, district, and state to bring change to scale; and
  • Building a network of change-oriented teachers by organizing a series of events to inform and engage a critical mass of teacher voice to influence policy, which includes ensuring the advocacy work and voice of the Indiana Fellows, alumni, and instructional practice Teacher Leaders is impactful, influential, and credible.

Expand the Teacher-Led Professional Learning Network

The Executive Director will build out a network in which teachers with dedicated expertise and a track record of effectiveness lead their peers in improving teaching and learning, addressing systemic barriers to student achievement, and effectively managing change, in partnership with their principals.

Ensure the Long-Term Viability and Sustainability of the Indiana Programs

The Executive Director will manage the team and the budget. S/he will grow funding relationships in Indiana by:

  • Maintaining and managing relationships with statewide and local funding sources; and
  • Strategically diversifying the funding base, increasing the number of local and individual philanthropic leaders who know and support Teach Plus’s work.

Participate in organization-wide learning and growth

The Executive Director will collaborate with national and regional leaders at Teach Plus to:

  • Maximize learning across sites;
  • Ensure quality and high standards; and
  • Create momentum for a national voice of change-oriented teachers.

III. Qualifications

The ideal candidate will be a strategic visionary with deep knowledge about educational issues related to improving educational equity and outcomes for students and strengthening the teaching profession. S/he will be a strong external presence with the ability to be credible with a wide range of stakeholders including state and district policy makers; philanthropic, public, and private partners; and teachers. Without question, the Executive Director will have a passion for growing and supporting Teacher Leadership and elevating teacher voice across the educational system and in the Indiana Statehouse.

Additionally, candidates will possess the following qualities and qualifications:

  • Experience facilitating and leading high-quality professional learning for adults, including the ability to provide mentoring to Teaching Policy Fellows, alumni, and Teacher Leaders in the Teach Plus network;
  • Experience and/or familiarity with state-level policy-making in Indiana, including a depth of understanding of Indiana education policy issues, policy makers, and influential leaders;
  • Ability to foster and leverage productive partnerships and relationships with individuals and organizations across educational policy and practice in Indiana that are well-positioned to support and advance Teach Plus’ mission;
  • Experience fundraising and demonstrated effectiveness in building and cultivating relationships with partners / stakeholders;
  • Political skills and grit to persevere in achieving policy change in a challenging, complex environment;
  • A strong record of managing and delivering innovative programs with a focus on equity for students and quality of results;
  • Understanding of national discussion about how to best develop and retain effective Teacher Leaders;
  • Comfort working in an entrepreneurial environment and the willingness to contribute as needed to a growing organization;
  • A results-oriented, goal-driven, teamwork approach to work;
  • A passionate commitment to improving public education by retaining and supporting outstanding teachers to support the success of all students, in particular for low-income learners and students of color;
  • Prior K-12 teaching experience or a significant comparable experience; and
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

IV. Commitment to Diversity

In order to better-serve the teachers and students at the core of our mission, Teach Plus is committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization. We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage individuals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds and gender identities to apply to our positions.

V. Our Culture

At Teach Plus, we are driven by our mission and our core values are a driving force behind everything we do: Leadership, Solutions-orientation, Joy, Integrity in Practice, and Collaboration. We love what we do and we work hard to make a difference for teachers and students.  We are smart, passionate, and engaged with one another.  We are thought partners, collaborators, and constant learners.

VI. Compensation and Benefits

Salary is competitive and will be based on prior experience and qualifications. Full benefits package includes medical, dental, retirement, disability, life insurance, and generous paid time off benefits.

How to Apply

To apply, please complete an online application found here.  The online application will require you to upload a resume and cover letter.  The cover letter should include an explanation of your interest in the position as well as a summary of relevant qualifications and experience. Teach Plus will receive applications until the position is filled. Application Link: https://teachplus.tfaforms.net/327904

Bureaus: - National -. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Research and Policy. Job Tags: education, policy, practice, and teacher leadership.

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