Senior Director of High School Success

POSITION DESCRIPTION

THE CHALLENGE

Over the last decade, the District has seen significant educational investments, including universal pre-K, high per-pupil funding rates, and a robust array of programmatic offerings across both DCPS and public charter schools. Such investments have led to important improvements in the lives of the District’s young people; however, we have yet to achieve system-wide progress. Still, too many children are entering school not fully ready to learn, are academically off track, fail to graduate from high school, or are inadequately prepared to succeed in college or in the workforce. As students bring to the classrooms the full weight of their lived experiences, we know that schools alone cannot meet their needs and that isolated efforts will not radically transform the futures for the children in DC.

THE OPPORTUNITY AND ORGANIZATION

Leading with the core belief that adults across multiple sectors bear a shared responsibility for student success, Raise DC is a community-wide convener that aligns partners, data, and actions to measurably improve educational achievement for Washington, DC, children and youth, from birth through age 24. As a leader in guiding cradle-to-career change, the organization convenes public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders and uses data to guide effective practices that ensure every child has opportunities to succeed.

Raise DC's work throughout the city supports five citywide goals as DC youth transition along the cradle-to-career continuum. Raise DC envisions a District of Columbia in which:

  • Every child is prepared for kindergarten.

  • Every child graduates from high school.

  • Every youth who is not in school reconnects to education/training. 

  • Every youth attains a postsecondary credential.

  • Every youth is prepared for a career.

These five goals are ambitious, yet Raise DC and its numerous "grasstops" and "grassroots" partners have a shared responsibility to staying the course for DC's young people, implementing a blend of policy, planning, and practice to achieve these goals. On the ground, this work is guided by continuous improvement, through established core, contributing, and monitoring indicators that serve as ongoing metrics. The organization’s “Change Networks” – working groups comprised of private industry, philanthropic partners, nonprofits, and government agencies – meet regularly to coordinate efforts and track progress toward these indicators. The Raise DC Leadership Council, consisting of multi-sector public champions, monitors Raise DC’s progress; influences the alignment of resources; implements strategy; and addresses financial, policy, and structural barriers. Raise DC is a partner of the StriveTogether collective impact network. The Greater Washington Community Foundation serves as Raise DC’s fiscal sponsor, supporting daily operations with human capital and infrastructure.

THE Position

Raise DC seeks a Senior Director of High School Success to accelerate progress on the organization’s high-level goals of high school success and reconnection. This position includes collaborating with key stakeholders to define and articulate a shared vision of high school and reconnection outcomes; managing related Change Networks; inspiring, building, and sustaining multi-sector partnerships to execute agreed-upon strategies/special initiatives; and advocacy. An effective Senior Director will bring to the role the ability and experience to inspire confidence, trust, and action across multiple stakeholders, including executive-level leaders, programmatic staff, community members, and policymakers. This position reports to the Executive Director.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and leverage relationships with key education stakeholders (government and non-government) to inform internal decision-making and to advance partnership efforts, including analysis/research, policy development, advocacy, and coordinated planning opportunities.

  • Work closely with the Executive Director to assess opportunities for strategic expansion of Raise DC’s scope and activities related to DC’s graduation and reconnection outcomes.

  • Steward the Graduation Pathways Project, in coordination with key education agency partners, to increase citywide high school graduation rates. Duties include:

    • Activating strategic partnerships to create a shared plan for meaningful, broad use of graduation-related data to guide citywide investments and collective action to ensure DC students start high school on the right foot, recover if they’ve fallen off track, and reconnect if they’ve dropped out.

    • Working closely with the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education and DC Public Schools to sustain and improve the Bridge to High School Data Exchange and Kid Talk.

    • Overseeing the continued implementation of an annual Graduation Pathways Summit as an ongoing community engagement opportunity for education leaders to reflect on progress and define future opportunities for impact.

    • Scoping and executing additional research to inform and advance citywide efforts to improve graduation outcomes, including a DC Middle Schools Diagnostic to define predictive student and school factors for “high school readiness.”

  • Manage Change Networks related to Raise DC’s high school and reconnection goals, including the 9th Grade Counts Network and Disconnected Youth Change Network.  Specifically, the Senior Director will work closely with network co-chairs to:

    • Define network’s vision and use data to define high-impact strategies; craft agendas and facilitate meetings; and develop and monitor work plans.

    • Digest and analyze feedback/insights from network members; pressure test ideas and structure options/recommendations.

    • Lead consensus on key decisions; guide decision-making process to maximize network opportunities, time, and resources.

    • Work with Data Manager to identify and define Change Network indicators and business rules, manage timely and efficient data collection processes, and document data methodologies and analyses.

    • Work in partnership with Data Manager and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to execute data-sharing agreements with Change Network members.

    • Ensure ongoing data support is available to aid networks’ continuous improvement efforts.

    • Liaise with the Raise DC Leadership Council to address identified policy and planning needs.

  • Represent Raise DC at national and local conferences, to funders, and to relevant stakeholders; stay apprised of related efforts across the city.

  • Secure and supervise relevant technical assistance providers and consultants to ensure they are delivering.

  • Determine annual project budget and resource requirements; assist with grant proposal writing and material creation to support all high school graduation and reconnection-related initiatives.

Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Demonstrated commitment to achieving equitable educational outcomes for DC youth

  • Excellent and concise communicator, both in written and verbal communication

  • Ability to build relationships in DC government, nonprofits, local education agencies, philanthropy, and private industry, including, but not limited to: District of Columbia Public Schools, DC Public Charter School Board, Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Deputy Mayor for Education, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, and Department of Employment Services

  • Experience “managing through influence,” driving results requiring contribution from multiple stakeholders without direct oversight/authority

  • High standard of quality and attention to detail

  • Strategic, agile thinker, with a demonstrated orientation to action that influences results

  • Strong facilitation, problem solving, and project management skills

  • Ability to connect people and ideas to one another, resulting in concrete action and results

  • Proficient in understanding and applying quantitative and qualitative data for concrete decision-making, with a track record of using disaggregated data to address disparities in outcomes for subpopulations

  • 5+ years professional or related experience (e.g. teaching, community organizing, advocacy, and/or coalition-building)

  • Experience in the education, government, and/or nonprofit sectors

  • Creativity and sense of humor

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for this position is $70,000 to $85,000. This position offers excellent benefits, including a flexible work environment; health and dental coverage; vacation, sick, and personal leave; retirement benefits; and a flexible spending account.

Application Instructions

Please submit your resume and cover letter to info@raisedc.org with the subject line “Application for Senior Director of High School Success.” Application deadline is Feb. 28, 2019. No phone calls, please.

 

Raise DC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of individuals of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. Recruiting staff to create an inclusive organization is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status, or other status protected by law.