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Eskolta Director of Research and Policy

WHO WE ARE

Founded in 2010, Eskolta School Research and Design is a collaborative, nonprofit educational consultancy that partners with educators and urban school districts to ensure that students who were once left behind can thrive. We approach our work by bringing together the voices and experiences of teachers, school leaders, students, and families to create evidence-based solutions tailored to the needs of each community. To date, we have worked with over 1,000 educators to develop practices that have improved learning for more than 13,000 students in New York City and Boston. This year we will be expanding our work to serve schools in Washington DC.

Our success is measured by the struggling students reengaged, cultures of high expectations restored, and the respectful and compassionate learning environments reaffirmed in partnership with educators and families. We view our success as the best kind of success — shared success that is accomplished with open minds, open hearts, and a shared respect for the lived and professional experiences of the educators and families we serve.

We look forward to the opportunity to share more about our work, our impact and our organizational values grounded in equity and inclusion. 

OUR VALUES

We seek to continuously challenge ourselves to exhibit respect, focus, balance, integrity, and justice. To that end, Eskolta strives to be an antiracist organization, using its influence to fight against social injustice by supporting a culture of learning, empowerment, and equity in our schools. 

At Eskolta, we also believe that our education system represents the key means of inspiring, equipping, and empowering young people to build a better future. We value every student and educator as an individual and seek their input, knowledge, voice, and potential. Through our work, we aim for both teachers and students to feel supported and valued, and to be afforded true opportunities to succeed.

We believe that changing the world begins with changing ourselves. We seek to continuously challenge ourselves to learn about the systems of oppression that exist in our society, examine our own beliefs and actions, and embrace discomfort as we move toward consciously creating a more just and equitable model of education.

ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY

Eskolta seeks an experienced data scientist, analyst and storyteller to lead the newly established Research and  Policy team. The Director of Research and Policy will focus on three main areas of work:  

  • collect, analyze and share qualitative and quantitative data to understand Eskolta’s programmatic impact over time
  • elevate the work of transfer and alternative schools to shape and inform state and national policy and advocacy, and 
  • uplift what works to create more equitable, student-centered school communities across the country

The Director of Research and Policy will drive active collaboration and communication across our team and stakeholders to center the voices of community partners, students, schools and staff as we continue to identify, practice and apply culturally sustainable and anti-racist strategies to support schools.   He/she/they will build authentic collaborations with local and national institutes of higher education and policy makers to ensure Eskolta’s work is amplified within culturally responsive and current research, conferences and publications. 

The Director of Research and Policy will be skilled at transforming data sets into powerful stories that exemplify the work being done within school communities to create a more equitable society.  The ideal candidate will possess exceptional project management skills and the ability to analyze and communicate data and policy recommendations from a place of youth affirmation, respect and anti-racist practice and beliefs.

The Director will have a successful track record of identifying gaps in the education field and developing and executing initiatives that align with school needs and organizational values. In partnership with the senior leadership team, the Director will oversee the execution of all policy and research projects, and lead, manage and mentor a diverse team of researchers and consultants.  The Director of Research and Policy reports to the Executive Director. 

As a key focus of their work, the Director of Research & Policy will be responsible for the following:

Team Leadership & Strategy

  • Lead the Research & Policy team and foster a culture that embraces teamwork, transparency, seamless communication, and mentorship for staff
  • Partner with Executive Director and Chief Partnerships & Impact Officer to develop and implement strategic priorities to advance grant initiatives, including the Gates Grant and other grants that range in size and complexity 
  • Provide thought leadership and expertise as a member of the senior leadership team
  • Maintain a working knowledge of significant educational developments and trends and build Eskolta as a sought-after resource who works in partnership with transfer schools and alternative schools’ most vulnerable youth

Research & Policy

  • Perform advanced, complex quantitative data analysis of large datasets and trends, utilizing network science and/or other statistical methods, including creating data visuals
  • Lead creation of original policy agenda, research reports, policy updates, and summaries of existing material to positively impact practice and support Eskolta’s strategic priorities
  • Work alongside Eskolta senior leadership team to ensure relevant policy content is incorporated into professional development offerings, publications, and community engagement efforts
  • Represent Eskolta’s mission, public policy agenda, and programmatic objectives to external audiences 
  • Leverage quantitative and qualitative data to measure the impact of Eskolta’s partnerships with school communities

Project Management

  • Engage in effective project management, which includes responsibility for content development, management of timelines and activities, communication with project participants, management of dayto-day budget activities and project oversight
  • Lead and/or assist with the development, preparation, submission, and correspondence relating to grant proposals and/or reporting to corporate or foundation funders

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Nurture a transparent and compassionate culture where team members feel able to bring their full selves to work, be supported and cared for personally and professionally, and able to productively and openly engage in critical conversations
  • Raise and integrate issues of equity and justice as they connect to school-based projects
  • Help team members develop a critical awareness of the intersection between social justice and Eskolta’s work with educators and community partners to create a more equitable society

QUALIFICATIONS

There are innumerable ways to learn, grow, and excel professionally. We respect this when we review applications and take a broad look at the experience of each applicant. We want to get to know you and the unique strengths you will bring to the work. This said, we are most likely to be interested in your candidacy if you can demonstrate most of the qualifications and experiences listed below.

  • Progressive leadership and expertise in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, writing for publication and data analytics; experience in research methodologies such as Youth Participatory Action research preferred
  • An understanding of and commitment to evidence-based policy and programming
  • Thrives in a lean, fast-paced, highly collaborative, and entrepreneurial environment; the integrity, wisdom, persistence, and humor necessary to address the practicalities of a growing, dynamic, organization
  • A management style that combines respectful collaboration with disciplined productivity; respect and team orientation to effectively support staff and the continued growth and direction of the organization
  • Desire to play a key role in achieving an ambitious vision requiring cultural responsiveness, bold thinking, and comfort with pivots to harness the opportunity to strategically advance our work 
  • Excellent strategic, analytical, and problem-solving skills with the ability to overcome challenges through the development of thoughtful and creative solutions 
  • Exceptional oral and written communication, networking, and public engagement skills, including the ability to adapt style and approach to diverse local constituencies and needs
  • Ability to build sustainable and productive partnerships with nonprofits, philanthropic partners, academic institutions, and city and state government; comfortable and capable of speaking to these constituents and other stakeholders about the power and potential of Eskolta’s model.
  • Track record of successfully leading projects with district or network-wide impact in schools located in NYC, Boston or Metro DC within policy, legislative, and/or regulatory environments
  • Ability to travel for workshops and multi-day training as needed (once in-person work resumes) 

LOCATION, COMPENSATION & BENEFITS 

The Director of Research and Policy can be located in NYC, Washington DC, or Boston.  Eskolta offers a comprehensive benefits package. The salary range for this position is $115,000-$120,000. While the Eskolta team is currently working remotely, with some days from a shared office space or school settings. The organization expects to return to the office when safe to do so. Full benefits include health care, 403B, vacation, and life and short and long term disability insurance. The summary overview of the benefits could be found here.

HOW TO APPLY

To apply to this position, please have an updated resume ready and a thoughtfully written cover letter to the attention of Eskolta’s Executive Director, Dr. Nada Ahmed. For confidential inquiries or for assistance in completing the application, please contact us via email at search@positivelypartners.org and a member of our team will follow up.

  

TIMELINE AND HIRING PROCESS

We will review and respond to all applications received. While subject to change, candidates elected to advance throughout the process can expect to interview with Positively Partners, an interview with Eskolta’s Executive Director and other team members, and for finalists, an interview day with Eskolta staff, including a robust and holistic reference check process. The expected start date is winter 2021. 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

ESKOLTA is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to sustaining a diverse community with a work environment that is welcoming, respectful, and encouraging to all. We foster a culture of inclusion that celebrates and cultivates diversity along multiple dimensions, including race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, out of home care, age, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, culture, and experience.

Additional information

  • Remote status

    Temporarily remote

Or, know someone who would be a perfect fit? Let them know!

The Role

Positively Partners is a social enterprise committed to helping organizations achieve exceptional performance from their employees. We seek an experienced human resources professional to work in partnership with our nonprofit and social impact clients. Qualified applicants will possess an entrepreneurial spirit with a genuine desire to grow, develop skills and proactively and consistently deliver results.

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