Director of Continuous Improvement

New York, United States | EL Education | Full-time | Fully remote

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Salary Range: $85,000 - $120,000 depending on experience and geographic location

About EL Education

EL Education is a national nonprofit focused on making lasting change in our K-12 public schools. We partner with schools and districts in urban and rural communities across America to provide a transformative educational experience—steeped in challenge, leadership, and contribution—that prepares students from every background for success in college, careers, and life.  Our unique approach of joining character to scholarship, inspiring students to work together to make positive change, has yielded groundbreaking results. Our approach centers on an expanded view of student success—one that integrates growth in the mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high-quality student work, and is informed by the latest science of how students learn and develop. It is the foundation of our highly rated K-8 Language Arts Curriculum and school design model, both of which have proven through rigorous external research to significantly improve teacher practice and student outcomes.

EL Education has developed a strategic plan, Advancing Equity in K-12 Education, to guide our work over the next four years. We are setting our sights on disrupting education inequities by realizing the full potential of our approach across school systems. We aim to reach 2.5M students by 2025.

EL Education was born out of a collaboration between The Harvard Graduate School of Education and Outward Bound nearly thirty years ago: founded as a break-the-mold model of school design with character and academics at the pinnacle. Our mission is to create classrooms where teachers can fulfill their highest aspirations and students achieve more than they think possible, becoming active contributors to building a better world.

About the Position

Throughout its 25-year history, EL Education has been committed to learning from research and on-the -ground experience.  More recently we have engaged in multiple continuous improvement projects based on the principles of Continuous Improvement and data-informed short cycles. Now, as we launch our new strategic plan, “Advancing Equity in K-12 Education,” Continuous Improvement for Equity is at the center of the theory of action for achieving equitable, excellent outcomes for all students.

This position provides the opportunity to apply emerging systematic, implementation-oriented, powerful approaches to solving problems of practice. The Director of Continuous Improvement will also have responsibility for supporting EL Education’s character research agenda, including guiding research projects with internal and external partners, developing measures, and designing innovative methods. EL Education’s definition of “character” includes being an effective learner, an ethical person, and contributing to a better world. 

The Director of Continuous Improvement is a core member of the Research Team reporting to the Senior Director of Research.

Primary responsibilities

Lead EL Education’s continuous improvement work with district and school partners:

  • Lead the Continuous Improvement Initiative of EL Education’s Strategic Plan. Facilitate and guide a cross-departmental team to plan, design, and implement strategy over the next four years.
  • Lead a process that results in an organizational definition of continuous improvement for equity, including how EL Education will carry out continuous improvement for equity with partners and for organizational learning.
  • Apply appropriate systematic continuous improvement methods to efforts to inform EL Education supports and services to increase equitable learning environments and impacts for students, teachers, and leaders.
  • Collaborate with Partner Teams and others to develop and implement strategy to embed continuous improvement deeply, authentically, and fully into our work with schools and districts.
  • Strengthen networks through networked improvement communities aligned with EL Education priorities and resources, in collaboration with other departments.
  • Guide, support, and innovate the design of projects across EL Education that embed continuous improvement to iterate strategy and evaluate impact. 
  • Identify factors and strategies that accelerate the adoption and promote sustainability of effective instructional practices and interventions, building on past research.

 

Conduct research projects and develop new or revised systems to support research, evaluation, and improvement, with a focus on character, equity, and instructional rigor:

  • Develop strategies, identify measures, and assist in development of infrastructure for assessment of Character in EL Education schools. 
  • Support creation and revision of EL Education structures and systems (e.g. credentialing) to increase schools’ ability to promote equitable, excellent outcomes for all students in three dimensions of achievement.
  • Lead the development and innovation of the measurement of student and teacher outcomes in network schools, especially as related to character, civic education, and high-quality student work.
  • Support the improvement of school implementation quality and credentialing systems. 
  • Engage in research projects to support EL Education network schools in learning about and implementing systematic continuous improvement for equity in their schools to promote equity.
  • Develop and co-develop proposals for funding of external research projects in areas of focus.
  • Lead and co-lead relationships between EL Education and external research teams for funded projects related to network schools, continuous improvement, character, and equity.
  • Identify, adapt, and socialize instruments to measure students’ opportunity to develop character and results.
  • Support revision of the EL credential definition and process; participate in decision-making regarding applicants.

Build capacity, collaboration, and expertise across the organization, partners, and the larger field: 

  • Provide consultation about implementation and improvement sciences and partner on research projects, including leading quantitative and/or qualitative data analysis.
  • Educate EL Education staff on continuous improvement methodologies and their relation to equity (improvement science, human-centered design, etc.) through webinars, presentations at meetings, documentation, and other means. 
  • Develop high-quality tools to support a wider understanding of the implementation of improvement science for EL Education staff (and partners).
  • Regularly expand expertise in continuous improvement methods by sharing findings and implications of external research and internal learning.
  • Identify, adapt, and socialize instruments to measure environments that build students’ Character, a key element of EL Education’s three-dimensions of student achievement.
  • Create documentation and professional learning support for field staff in effective data- or evidence-based practices.
  • Increase capacity of staff at EL to lead continuous improvement with schools and districts.
  • Document EL Education’s experience and results of continuous improvement science, character measurement, and other research activities through case studies, research briefs, podcasts, and other communication vehicles.

Provide organizational leadership and management:

  • Supervise consultants as needed to perform research-related tasks and projects, including development of scope, hiring, and oversight.
  • Supervise research team members as team expands.
  • Provide oversight of staff for specific projects and activities (e.g., Manager, Data and Analytics).
  • Manage multiple projects simultaneously, working with project managers and acting as project manager, with clear goals, responsibilities, timelines, touchpoints, and benchmarks.
  • Serve as a member of the Partner Staff Development team. 

Qualifications:

  • Masters or Doctoral degree in Education with substantial academic work and/or experience in a field relevant to continuous improvement.
  • Strong commitment to educational equity and anti-racism.
  • Knowledge of how systemic racism and individual bias impact learning environments and student outcomes, and ways in which continuous improvement methods can be harnessed to reduce inequities.
  • Experience with continuous improvement methodology.
  • Experience in qualitative and/or quantitative research and measurement, including innovative approaches to measuring social-emotional learning, character, and quality student work.
  • Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail and consistent focus on quality.
  • Excellent interpersonal, collaboration, and communication skills.
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Ability to communicate research methods and results effectively, including skills in communicating implications of the research for specific audiences.