We are a dedicated and dynamic group of individuals who have joined together to create a more equitable and just education system in America. Located in downtown Portland, Maine, Great Schools Partnership staff work on a variety of small- and large-scale educational projects throughout Maine, New England, and the country. Working with educators, administrators, state agencies, community members, parents, and business leaders, we look to create schools were students own their learning, engage in deep work, and prepare themselves for their 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 the organization. For more detailed information about the Partnership and its work, visit what we do.
What’s the big plan with the job?
While we may know quite a bit, we realize we always need to know more. How is this strategy creating change in this context? How well are our interventions narrowing achievement gaps? What do we need to better understand today in order to do better tomorrow? This role supports and collaborates with Partnership colleagues to identify and explore questions like these in order to examine our practice and continually refine and focus our efforts.
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. While this effort has been underway for the past two years, it remains an evolving piece of work that will require your insight and input for best success.
- Preparing data-informed publications and presenting GSP work at national gatherings. As the coordinator of the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC), we play a central role in the preparation and publication of the NESSC Common Data Project Annual Report. You will work closely with the NESSC Data Coordinator and data representatives from each of the six New England states education agencies to examine educational equity in New England secondary school outcomes across six student outcome indicators. You will also play a leading role in developing our NESSC Data Dialogue series and other resources that support data-use by partners and stakeholders.
- Refining and overseeing implementation of Research efforts as outlined in GSP’s strategic plan. Our strategic plan has five objectives, one of which is Research and Evaluation. You will be responsible for quarterly progress monitoring and collaborative review of this strand. 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 that occurs each June.
- Coordinating development of an organization-wide knowledge management system. We’ve got some ideas about how to get started on this, but you’ll be both investigating and undertaking this task in the first year. Our goal is to identify, implement and sustainably maintain a knowledge management system that helps us share what we’re learning in real time, promotes transparency across the organization, and supports self-service document retrieval.
- 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 skills and qualifications do I need to undertake this work?
- 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 21st century 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 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 “winning” 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.
- You love data visualization—and a compelling story. While you may not be a Tableau guru, 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.
- Your glass is always full—even when only half of it is water. You know that not every day is a great day and everything doesn’t always turn out like we might have hoped. But you also know that every day can be a learning day to do better tomorrow.
What does it mean to work at GSP?
We can be intense, humorous, hopeful, practical, and imaginative all in the same conversation. We believe work should be joyful, productive, and supportive. As members of GSP, each of us recognizes our own capacity for bias and because of this, our need for ongoing personal growth. We therefore agree to use these norms and commitments to help ourselves and our colleagues to achieve our vision.
- Strive for Our Vision believing in possibility, seeking inspiration, developing our knowledge and skills, and pushing ourselves and others.
- Cultivate Trust intentionally investing in interpersonal relationships, maintaining confidentiality, committing to transparency in communication and decision-making, and giving time, thought, and consideration to new ideas and different perspectives.
- Collaborate Purposefully cultivating self-awareness and empathy, maintaining an inquiring mindset, respecting one another, and balancing structure and flexibility to meet the needs of the group or situation.
- Foster Growth taking risks as individuals and as an organization, acknowledging bias within and among us to deepen our learning, and creating a supportive culture that allows each of us to speak our truth, experience discomfort, and accept non-closure.
- Seek Balance encouraging ourselves and each other to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
While we are supportive of some level of telecommunications, you will be based in the GSP main offices in Portland, Maine. We would expect you to undertake your work from these offices unless you are out in the field undertaking various aspects of your work including collaborating with your colleagues
GSP offers a competitive salary, health insurance, a 403(b) retirement plan, four weeks of vacation, and the usual holidays.
Come Join Us!
To apply, send an email with the subject line “Director of Research and Evaluation” to firstname.lastname@example.org and attach your resume, a cover letter, and list of three references. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Great Schools Partnership 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, LGBTQ individuals, and members of other minority or marginalized groups are strongly encouraged to apply.