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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Senior Director of Assessments and Standards (FT, Boston)

NOTE: Not our usual post, but you may know someone who might be interested in this posting. 


Organizational Overview:
Top performing low-income schools across the country are demonstrating that the achievement gap can be closed. One common practice in these schools is how they effectively use student achievement data to identify gaps in student learning and then relentlessly target their teaching to catch up students who are falling behind.  Founded in Boston in 2005, The Achievement Network (ANet), an entrepreneurial non-profit organization on the cutting edge of the education reform movement, is designed to help schools achieve excellence and dramatically improve student achievement.

Founded in 2005, ANet currently serves 252 charter and district schools educating over 60,000 students in Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Newark, Chicago, Tennessee, and New York City. Schools that work with ANet have significantly increased the percentage of their students scoring advanced or proficient on state year-end summative tests – and more than two times better performance than average school performance in states.

ANet’s comprehensive solution builds partner schools’ capacity to use data effectively in their schools and increase student achievement. There are three major components that make up ANet’s partnership with schools.  First, we provide standards-aligned quarterly assessments and user-friendly data reports to determine which standards students are mastering and which standards students are struggling to comprehend. Second, ANet provides intensive coaching to help schools use the data effectively to action plan and re-teach concepts students have not yet mastered.  And third, ANet facilitates a peer network of leaders and teachers for best practice sharing and collaboration to accelerate improvement in schools across the network.

Position Overview:
We are seeking a Senior Director of Assessments and Standards to manage the Assessment Team and ensure the quality, accuracy, and deadline-driven development of our interim assessments.  This team is responsible for creating interim assessments in Math and ELA grades 2-8 that are customized for each network of schools that we serve.  Our assessments are aligned with both state standards as well as the Common Core state standards (CCSS).  The Assessment Team operates within the national Program Team and the Senior Director will work closely with our Network and logistics teams to ensure the delivery of assessments that meet schools’ needs to provide high quality instructional data to teachers. Additionally, the Director will manage the assessments analytics relationship between the assessments team and the research and evaluation team and will be the liaison with outside strategic assessment consultants engaged by the organization.   The ideal candidate is customer service and detail-oriented with a track record of managing a strong product-driven team, has a thorough understanding of standards-based instruction and assessment design and quality, and is highly motivated by having an impact on closing the achievement gap.   The Senior Director will oversee a staff of five full time team members and numerous part-time consultants and will report directly to the Vice President, Program.

This position offers the unique opportunity for an entrepreneurial, results-oriented individual to become a member of the ANet team in Boston.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
·          Develop and manage a team of five, including assessment developers and managers, through promoting a culture of high performance, continuous improvement, and work/life balance
·          Manage the development process of over 500 individual ANet interim assessments annually with a zero error rate
·          Oversee and develop a rigorous item and assessment creation process that ensures high quality
·          Successfully work with external consultants on behalf of the organization
·          Lead strategic thinking around the development of new and expanded assessment initiatives, such as the implementation of CCSS integration and additional grades and subject areas
·          Establish strong partnerships with Network Team and other internal departments to ensure that the needs of the schools and network staff are met, including the pacing of assessments, level of rigor, and feedback process
·          Identify and systematize successful operational and project management methods across the assessment team
·          Recommend strategies and structures for how the department can improve processes and product features while working with external consultants
·          Drive the gathering and analysis of data and analytics for internal and external reporting
·          Develop strategies with staff to build the capacity of the assessment team and implement professional development opportunities to increase their skills
·          Manage relationships with external strategic assessment consultants
·          Manage the department’s budget including sizable philanthropic grants
·          Perform other related duties as assigned

Required Skills and Characteristics:
In order to be successful in this role, the ideal candidate will demonstrate the following:
·          Belief in The Achievement Network’s mission and strategy:  Embracing assessments and data as meaningful tools for raising student achievement, professional development as a critical lever in improving school achievement, and network collaboration as a powerful means of spreading best practices across schools
·          Proven capacity for managing and developing people with the ability to connect with staff and execute accountability
·          Proven ability to manage efficient systems, structures and processes to improve department performance
·          Working knowledge of ELA and Math curriculum standards
·          Strong knowledge of best practices of assessment design and use in grades 2-8
·          Ability to communicate effectively and professionally with a variety of people including school staff, network staff, team members, and external constituents in a variety of contexts, ranging from onsite trainings to online communication
·          Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
·          Strong sense of customer service orientation
·          Strong team player
·          Highly flexible with a desire to work in an entrepreneurial, fast-paced workplace
·          Technical proficiency with MS Office

Experience and Educational Background:
·          Bachelor’s degree required and master’s degree preferred
·          Minimum of 6 years of full time work experience, including management or supervisory experience
·          Experience in a customer service environment
·          Experience with standards-based education and data-driven instruction required
·          Graduate school work in relevant programs beneficial

Benefits and salary:
Salary for this position is competitive and depends on prior experience and qualifications.  We also offer a comprehensive benefits plan.

How to Apply:
The Achievement Network is soliciting applications for this position immediately.  To apply, please visit our website, and click the "Apply Now” button.  You can review our positions, create an application, and upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling and urgent basis. 

The Achievement Network is committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization.  We are an equal
opportunity employer and seek individuals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds to apply to this position.

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