May 21, 2021


$64,000 - $88,000 yearly
  • Education First Consulting
  • Remote
Full-Time Education/Training

Job Description

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATIONEducation First is a mission-driven education policy consultancy dedicated to ensuring that all students - and particularly students in poverty and students of color - are prepared for success in college, careers and life. We work with organizations that are shaping the future of P-16 education across the nation, including school networks and districts, state departments of education, policy and advocacy organizations, youth empowerment organizations, talent organizations and foundations.

We help these system leaders catalyze change through our services:
Conduct research and analysis on policies and provide contextual recommendations and strategic support to translate findings into concrete, sustainable action
Develop and implement visionary, coherent strategies and strategic plans by prioritizing inclusive voices, focusing on the right problems, and providing space to explore
Plan and facilitate meaningful convenings for organizations and individuals to learn, problem solve, collaborate, and advance their work
Design actionable and equitable solutions that meet client needs, achieve program goals, and implement initiatives with clarity and quality
Support grantmakers, funders, and foundations to develop thoughtful, high-impact investment strategies that align with their goals, interests, and resources

We are a team of more than 60 former teachers, district and state education leaders, policy advisors, and grant makers who live and work virtually in more than 20 states and DC. Because of our experience, we approach the challenges our clients face with humility, realistic solutions, and a commitment to follow-through. Our culture is built on genuine care for our clients and for each other. We celebrate original thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurialism, authenticity and fun.  DESCRIPTION

Overview of the Opportunity

Associates lead research efforts and manage select workstreams on projects to deliver outstanding work to our clients. New Associates will be invited to join one of our three operational teams aligned to our Focus Areas - Engaged Students, Outstanding Educators or Effective Organizations & Investments.

Primary Responsibilities

Associates are mentored and supported by a Consultant or Senior Consultant on each team. The primary responsibilities of an Associate are:

Research, Analysis & Deliverable Development

  • Develop research work plans, serve as lead on project teams, and ensure client deliverables meet basic research standards
  • Lead research and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data (e.g., desk research, document analysis, research reports) 
  • Synthesize research findings and key takeaways in deliverables, including a clear coherent storyline and implications for client
  • Develop interview/ focus group protocols; identify and interview key informants; code and analyze interview findings
  • Develop and administer various levels of survey instruments; lead survey analysis
  • Develop and then collaborate with project managers to finalize “client-ready” PowerPoint presentations, policy memos, briefs, reports, strategy documents and other products drawing from documentation and research work

Project & Client Management

  • Design and facilitate client meetings and internal project team meetings
  • Lead key portions of projects such as particular workstreams or work groups
  • Organize, prioritize and process large volumes of work under tight deadlines 
  • Serve as an internal thought partner to project teams

Ongoing Strategy

  • Build advanced knowledge of P-16 education policy issues by staying up-to-date on legislation and research impacting the field
  • Engage in team problem solving, sharing evolving trends and best practices, and contributing to knowledge-creation initiatives
  • Generate new ideas and create new approaches to projects to creatively solve problems

Education First believes in coaching and supporting its staff members to meet their full potential. Over time, the Associate will be expected and supported to deepen skills in strategic planning, project management and client management.  


Experience & Qualifications

  • 3-4 years of professional experience, including experience in research, policy, consulting, state/district administration, philanthropy, or other relevant work environments focused on systems level change
  • Strong qualitative research skills and experience, including interview and focus group analyses, landscape scans, literature reviews, legislative/policy analysis and/or synthesis of multi-method research
  • Experience analyzing public policies and legislation including laws, regulations, guidance and related documents to assess implications for clients
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to translate complex topics into a clear storyline for varied audiences
  • Familiarity with principles of anti-racism, inclusion, diversity and equity as they relate to organizational and systems change 
  • Demonstrated experience supporting convenings, collaboratives, communities of practice, leading organizational development, nonprofit program management, and grantmaking
  • Familiarity with the field of education preferred (i.e. experience working in a school, local or state education agency, charter management organization, education consultancy, education research/policy firm or education nonprofit)
  • Bachelor's degree required; Master's degree preferred (MPA, MPP, JD, MBA, PhD or EdD)

Who You Are

  • You are committed to the vision of a more equitable education system in the U.S., including a willingness to examine the role of privilege, structural barriers, and inclusion in changing the trajectories of students furthest from opportunity.
  • You are self-motivated and results oriented.
  • A resourceful problem solver who is able to take initiative on projects with a high degree of autonomy and to anticipate and adjust for unexpected barriers to success
  • Highly organized with experience managing time and meeting deadlines across multiple priorities 
  • Able to lead by influence, establishing open lines of communication on project teams and incorporating the perspective of others
  • You provide and receive feedback with ease.

Location & Compensation

You will primarily work from home, but you should be able to travel for in-person client meetings as needed (10- 20% of the time) once it is safe to do so from a public health perspective. 

Education First offers a market-based competitive salary, comprehensive and generous benefits package (including PPO health insurance, six weeks of paid time off/holidays and extended leave), work-life flexibility and professional development opportunities. The salary range for this position is $64,000 - $88,000 (with 20% of the offer supplemented by local market trends if that market is higher than the national market). We typically set initial starting salaries between the minimum and the 25th percentile of the pay range ($64,000 - $70,000) to ensure there is room for growth over time.

Application Process

We are excited to receive applications from a broad range of applicants as we grow our team to better reflect the diversity of the communities our firm is committed to serve. Enthusiastic candidates should apply online to submit their resume and their responses to each of the following prompts within the application portal, in lieu of a cover letter:

  1. What brings you to Education First and how does this role fit within your short term career goals?
  2. Tell us about your research experience as it relates to EACH of the following areas: 1) creating protocols and facilitating interviews and focus groups; 2) designing, administering and analyzing surveys; 3) conducting landscape/field/environmental scans; and 4) analyzing policies, including laws, regulations and related documents.
  3. We are hiring 4-5 Associates across our three operational teams: Engaged Students, Effective Organizations & Investments, and Outstanding Educators. Based on your knowledge of each operational team, which team do you think most aligns with your experience & interest and Why?
  4. Tell us about your relevant skills, experience, and background as it relates to ONE or more of the following Education First focus areas: 1) Covid-19 Strategic Recovery; 2) Social, Emotional and Academic Development; 3) Coherent Instructional Assessment & Accountability Systems; 4) Innovative Systems and Schools; 5) Educator Diversity, Preparation & Development; 6) Talent Strategy & Culture; 7) Postsecondary Transitions & Success
  5. Education First has a commitment to RIDE (Race, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity) principles in how we operate internally and our work with clients. What are your reflections on how our RIDE commitment is reflected in your own personal values?

We do not expect you to spend a lengthy amount of time completing each question. Instead, we are looking for succinct responses (no more than 1-2 short paragraphs per question). Please submit all completed application materials by June 30, 2021

We plan to conduct screening interviews on a rolling basis and share performance tasks with select candidates by mid June. Interviews with top candidates will occur in July. Ideally, we’d like our newest Associates to start in August. Please, no phone calls, emails or other inquiries.

Education First actively engages our team with a robust Race, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (RIDE) strategy to build our staff and organizational capacity to lead on issues of equity and to increase diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the firm. As a proud equal opportunity employer, we strongly encourage applications from candidates of all races, national origins, ages, religions, creeds, veteran or disabled statuses, sexual orientations, gender identities or gender expressions. 

 POSITION PAY RANGE - 64,000 - 88,000  FULL-TIME/PART-TIME - Full-Time  

Hiring Organization

Education First Consulting


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