About the Great Schools Partnership
We are a dedicated and dynamic group of individuals who have joined together to create a more equitable and just education system in the United States. Working with educators, administrators, state agencies, community members, parents, and business leaders, we partner with schools to create learning environments where students own their learning, engage in deep work, and prepare themselves for their chosen futures. We believe that each of us needs to be empowered to be creative, take initiative, think outside the box, work collaboratively, and assume leadership roles in our organization.
Our Commitment to Diversity
At the Great Schools Partnership (GSP), we believe our organization should reflect the communities in which we work. We believe diversity makes us stronger. Diversity of race. Of ethnicity. Of language. Of ability. Of gender. Of all the other ways we identify ourselves. We believe who you are is worth celebrating. These beliefs are foundational to all our work. We advocate for and support schools, districts, and school communities on their journeys toward educational equity. We also invest our time and money in ongoing internal equity and anti-racism efforts. Our goal is to provide a welcome, inclusive, and supportive environment for every member of our staff.
What’s the big plan with the job?
Our director of research and evaluation will work alongside coaches, educational leaders, and policy makers to transform practices, policies, and organizational models to ensure equitable outcomes for all students. This job involves working with senior associates to help educators build capacity in collecting, analyzing, and using data to improve instruction and student outcomes. In this role, you’ll also be designing large- and small-scale research projects, creating data visualizations, and collecting, analyzing, and reporting on data about our organizational effectiveness.
What will I be doing?
Building staff capacity to engage in cycles of learning and improvement. You’ll work with senior associates and project staff to develop credible theories of action, collect appropriate progress monitoring data, and determine how our work contributes to positive outcomes for schools. You’ll use a flexible approach that enables you to meet the diverse needs of colleagues as we build our collective understanding of our coaching approach.
Preparing data-informed publications and presenting GSP work at national gatherings. You’ll play a central role in the preparation and publication of the NESSC Common Data Project Annual Report. You will work closely with data representatives from each of the six New England state education agencies to examine educational equity across six student outcome indicators. You will also play a leading role in developing data visualizations for inclusion in our monthly newsletter and other resources that support data-use by partners, coaches, and stakeholders.
Refining and overseeing implementation of organizational research efforts in alignment with GSP’s strategic plan. In our strategic plan, we specifically commit to using data to inform our coaching model and continuously improve our work. You will be responsible for quarterly progress monitoring and collaborative review of this strategy. Additionally, you will work with colleagues from across the organization to ensure synergy and alignment with organizational priorities in the areas of policy, practice, and community engagement. You will also play an active role in our annual strategic plan updating process.
Supporting data work with coaches in the field. Increasingly, our partner schools and districts are making use of data and data visualizations to inform instruction and measure progress, creating a need for data management with our partners. You will work directly with GSP coaches and superintendents, principals, and teacher leaders to coordinate and design processes to collect, analyze, and theme data for use with educators, board members, and families.
Coordinating data collection and analysis to provide evidence of our impact. You will create, implement, and monitor research methods that enable us to measure our effectiveness at changing practice, changing systems, and ultimately, in improving student learning. You recognize that powerful changes implemented today may take some time to materialize with changes in data, but we need to be consistently collecting evidence to better inform how we can work best.
Coordinating and supporting external evaluations of GSP’s work. Your role in supporting external evaluations will vary from case to case, but will likely include liaising with evaluators, reviewing evaluation documents, and coordinating and/or supporting GSP’s active contribution to the evaluation process.
What qualities do I need to succeed in this role?
Our process strives to screen in rather than out. We welcome your application even if you feel you are not strong in every qualification outlined below.
You share our commitment to equitable education for every student. This is a job, but it is more than just filling in your time. You need to be committed to public education and believe that by improving the quality of learning we can improve the life-long outcomes of our students and fundamentally and positively impact the lives of everyone in our communities.
You bring expertise in research and evaluation, and are able to adapt best practices to meet the specific needs of our organization. We are looking for someone who can help us integrate data use and research-based best practices into school redesign and implementation of innovative approaches to teaching and learning. You help others understand how to do this work well, which may mean finding creative ways of communicating and implementing technical research or evaluation practices. You are willing to engage in ongoing dialogue regarding data and evaluation with an understanding that “perfection” may not be attainable while working within constantly changing school contexts. We would assume that you have at least a master’s degree and experience using both qualitative and quantitative methods.
You understand schools. Your past experience enables you to know how schools work, and understand the lives of teachers, administrators, students, and families. You recognize that while schools are beautiful in their learning, they seldom are perfect in their execution or exacting in their data. You realize that data are more than numbers and can directly influence how educators teach and students learn.
You have public confidence and conviction. You enjoy exploring and developing ideas extemporaneously, in collaboration with others and in public settings. You view disagreements as opportunities to explore new ideas and develop better results where success is the development and implementation of great ideas that are shared between everyone involved.
You get stuff done. You are self-motivated and able to work both independently and as part of a close-knit team. You are able to prioritize among competing demands to manage multiple projects, identify strategic priorities and differentiate between work that you need to take the time to get perfect versus activities that just need to get finished. When problems arise, you figure out ways to push through to solutions.
You love data visualization—and a compelling story. You are passionate about data visualization as a tool for telling more compelling stories with data. You are eager to learn how to build compelling data visualizations, even if this means stepping outside your comfort zone and experimenting with new data visualization techniques or software. You are able to effectively use data visualization to compliment your strong writing, presentation and speaking skills so that the data tells a story (rather than the visualization itself becoming the story).
Teammates matter. Certainly, you can work on your own to see projects through to fruition, but you know that collective efforts and insight can create better outcomes. You are dependable with colleagues, supportive of others, and able to tackle a challenge together. You value diversity, respect different ideas, and openly address concerns with your colleagues.
Our offices are located in Portland, Maine. The director of research is not required to live in the greater Portland area but will need to be located in New England. While the director of research will not be expected to be in the GSP office regularly, there will be in-person meetings and times when the director is required to be in Portland. The onboarding schedule for the first 30 days may require more in-office work.
Salary range for this position is $83,475 - $110,531 based on experience. GSP covers full cost of health insurance for each staff member, 50% of costs of family health insurance, an additional 2.5% of salary contributed to a 403(b) retirement plan, an additional 4.5% of salary into a flex fund for health care or retirement, four weeks of vacation, five personal days, six sick days, eight holidays, tuition reimbursement, and eight weeks of paid parental leave.
GSP is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against candidates on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or veteran status. Women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and members of other minority or marginalized groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
Come Join Us!
Submit your application HERE. Once in the application form, you will be asked to provide information regarding your application, upload your resume, and answer three questions (250 words or less for each response):
How has a commitment to educational equity driven your thinking, your commitment, and your actions over the last five years?
What insights, experiences, or commitments—professionally or in your personal life—will you bring to the GSP team that will either enhance or challenge the way we evaluate our work and measure our impact?
After reading our description of what you would be doing in this job, what experiences have you had that make you interested in submitting your application?
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Review date starting July 20, 2022. Applications received before the deadline will be given priority. After July 20 applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position has been filled.
Preferred start date before September 30.