Chief Program Officer (Washington, D.C.)

The Role

Our charge and responsibility in the DC Region

After 25 years in the community, Teach For America (TFA) is uniquely positioned to be the premier talent engine for schools and school systems because of the diversity and leadership capacity of our people; our reach across all grade-levels, content areas, and school contexts; and our commitment to equity. Specifically, within the D.C. Region, our ever-expanding local network currently consists of nearly 2,800 leaders across all sectors, including more than 800 TFA teachers (corps members and alumni), 200 school and system leaders. We in the DC Region have set a clear mandate to harness our unique community assets— One day, in D.C. & Prince George's County, our brilliant students will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and mindsets to attain their dreams and excel in school and society. To accelerate the pace of change, the Teach for America- D.C. Region will cultivate life-long social justice leaders at key leverage points within the education ecosystem.

The Role and Platform for Impact

We seek to hire a Chief Program Officer to (1) ensure that corps members are matriculated, on boarded and placed in a DC Region school, (2) design and build the region's first talent hub to recruit, onboard and match alumni educators and (3) to lead in regional efforts to ensure that the students in corps members' and alumni teachers' classrooms are academically positioned for a life of choice and equity, and that our teachers and other partners become lifelong advocates for educational equity. To serve our regional staff, corps members and alumni in the DC community, we seek a human capital strategy leader to accelerate our efforts to meet the needs of our school and district partners, to engage and support the leadership development and strategic placement of our corps members and alumni teachers and to be a collaborative member of the regional management team.

As a leader on our team, you will contribute to and advance our team's work by developing and coaching the Talent Hub team leaders, owning and leading cross-functional efforts to ensure that the region achieves its student achievement, corps member and alumni engagement, effectiveness, retention, and culture goals. Additionally, as a member of the Regional Management Team, you will support our broader regional team in reaching our growth, stewardship, and sustainability goals.

You will report directly to the Executive Director.

The Team

As our nation's capital, Washington D.C. has the potential to be the country's example for excellence in education. Yet today, one in three adults living in the area is functionally illiterate. Since 1992, Teach For America has worked in partnership with schools and communities in D.C. and, more recently, Prince George's County, Maryland, to help change this reality. Today, more than 800 D.C. Region corps members and alumni are teaching over 50,000 students within the Beltway. Together with our 2,800 area alumni — whose ranks include nearly 600 teachers and more than 50 school and school system leaders— they are striving to provide all students growing up in the D.C. area with an excellent education. The tight-knit TFA community in D.C. also includes the many regional and national staff members who work here in our organization's second largest office.

Qualifications:

Primary Responsibilities

To excel in this role, you are…

  • A visionary. You thrive in charting a new course and can see beyond what currently exists. You draw on your past experience as a successful systems leader, but are motivated to nurture a community of teachers, school and system leaders oriented towards outcomes and approaches not yet realized across the country. You believe in our core values and regional vision, mission, and goals, and commit to striving to embody these values.
  • A strategic thinker. When you face a large problem, your first instinct is to break it down into smaller, manageable pieces. You can ruthlessly prioritize on what is most important and avoid distractions, which will be critical as you develop a comprehensive program strategy.
  • A conscious leader. You are always oriented towards social justice and equity. You lead, and believe others must lead through a culturally responsive lens and in a way that empowers students and communities especially across lines of difference. You constantly seek to reflect on progress, learn, and improve.
  • Obsessive about outcomes. Your decisions are data-driven, and you stay laser-focused on truly audacious goals regardless of the day to day chaos you might find yourself in. You have a demonstrated record of success in your work despite obstacles.
  • Self-driven. You have superior organizational skills, integrity, and great follow-through on all facets of your work. You demonstrate personal responsibility and take initiative to do what it takes to achieve success.

Set vision and execute outstanding program strategy (40%):

  • Bring personal expertise and leverage external partners and resources to create a coherent and comprehensive vision/framework for teacher and alumni training and support including corps member matriculation, onboarding, certification and placement and alumni teacher recruitment, support and talent matching
  • Manage workstream leads to create a portfolio of consistent, impactful strategies that are tailored to constituent needs and are built to maximize the number of path-changing teachers and a robust talent pipeline.
  • Assess and optimize relationships with alumni, including identifying how we can best support them, connect them to each other and utilize their experience and expertise to better support our current corps members.
  • Serve as a key thought leader for systems and school leaders.
  • Define interim and final success goals, and regularly track progress against these metrics, resetting strategy dynamically as needed.
  • Stay up to date on latest thinking and innovations within leadership development, and evolve strategies to reflect these changes
  • Advance the work of the region by serving as the main liaison with national partners on Regional Operations: Program Partner and Collective Leadership and Engagement TFA's staff

Build the capacity of staff (30%):

  • Coach and develop team to build their own expertise and lead to stronger outcomes.
  • Foster an empowered and inclusive team who model our core values for themselves, our corps members and alumni
  • Encourage staff, corps members and alumni to regularly reflect upon and strive towards maximizing their impact

Know and Grow Yourself as a Leader (20%)

  • Hold a clear, personal vision for impact and how it relates to your goals
  • Have deep knowledge of your identity and how race, class, and privilege influence your values, mindsets and behaviors and ability to work alongside lines of sameness and difference
  • Sustain yourself in this work and model this for your team and corps members

Regional Team Responsibilities (10%)

  • Support, attend, and/or participate in regional team activities, including corps member selection and matriculation, corps member professional development days, staff meetings and retreats, and regional pre-service

Goals

Establish and lead team to achieve ambitious goals directly related to

  • student academic performance
  • corps member effectiveness and readiness
  • alumni involvement and satisfaction
  • teacher placements and retention
  • staff retention and satisfaction

Requirements

Prior Experience

  • Experience working in the DC and/or Prince George's County education landscape highly preferred
  • A minimum of 7-10 years of work experience leading and managing teams, through layers, to achieve ambitious outcomes
  • Experience in human resources within the education sector preferred

Education

  • Bachelor's degree required. Graduate degree strongly preferred.

Work Demands

You may travel independently to external site visits and school sites throughout the day that may be significant distances from one another, navigating school facilities may or may not be ADA-compliant. Occasional evening or weekends are required (e.g. one Saturday per month for our all corps events). Additionally, you should expect 1-2 weeklong overnight trips for conferences each year.

Apply Now

To be considered for this role, you must submit an online application, including a resume and cover letter. Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the link to the online application. For more information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.teachforamerica.org/about-us/careers.

About the Organization

There are more than 16 million children growing up in poverty in the U.S., and less than 10 percent of them will graduate from college. These statistics are not a reflection of our children's potential; we know that children growing up in poverty can and do achieve at the highest levels. Rather, these statistics reflect the systemic lack of access and opportunity for children in low-income communities.

Teach For America (TFA) finds, develops, and supports an ever-expanding network of outstanding and diverse leaders committed to expanding opportunity for children in schools, school systems, and in every sector and field that shapes the context in which schools operate. Representing the diversity of America and sharing the experience of having taught successfully in our most challenging public schools, TFA corps members and alumni form a network of change agents inside and outside of education who are grounded in the tremendous potential of our most underserved children and connected to families and communities impacted by educational inequity.

Founded by Wendy Kopp in 1989, Teach For America has since expanded to 36 states and 53 regions, reaching more than 10 million students. Now 53,000 strong and growing each year, the TFA community is leading across all sectors, including as teachers, school and school system leaders, elected officials, policy and advocacy organizers, social entrepreneurs, and business and civic leaders. We support the individual and collective leadership of this network as they work hand-in-hand with students, families, and allies in the effort to realize educational equity and excellence for children across the nation.

Our Core Values:

Our core values define who we are at our best and guide our work together.

  • Pursue Equity: We work to change practices, structures, and policies to realize educational equity for all children. As we do so, we actively examine our roles in perpetuating inequitable systems.
  • Strengthen Community: We assume responsibility for our collective strength by developing relationships, building diverse and inclusive coalitions, and challenging one another to be our best. We act with empathy and extend grace to ourselves and others.
  • Achieve Impact: We pursue ambitious, meaningful outcomes that lead to access and opportunity for all children. We hold ourselves to high standards, make data-informed decisions, and orient to long-term success.
  • Choose Courage: We act on our beliefs and values, especially when it's hard. We center our efforts on the aspirations of our students and their families.
  • Act with Humility: We acknowledge the limitations of our perspectives. We seek different points of view and historical context to evolve our thinking and actions.
  • Demonstrate Resilience: We see every challenge as an opportunity to think expansively about solutions. When faced with obstacles, we deepen our resolve, adapt, and persist with optimism.
  • Learn Continuously: We operate with curiosity and embrace new ideas to innovate and constantly improve. We take informed risks and learn from successes, setbacks, and each other.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness at the Center of Our Mission

At Teach For America, we aspire to embody the commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness we envision for our nation. Unequal access to opportunity along lines of race, class, and other aspects of identity has deep roots in American history, and institutional racism and classism contribute to inequitable access to educational opportunity in our country today. Therefore, understanding race, class, and the intersectional nature of oppression along these and other lines is critical to eliminating educational inequity and creating an education system in which all students can flourish.

Realizing educational equity and excellence will take a broad and diverse coalition of people—of diverse races, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, political views, and other aspects of identity and spheres of influence—united around a common purpose and shared values. We know that the change effort must be shaped by those of us who are most directly impacted by educational inequity. We also know that progress is only possible if each of us works effectively across lines of difference—with students, parents, partners, and each other—and if each of us understands and leverages the assets we bring to this work based on our identities and life experiences.

This understanding guides our strategy as we pursue our mission, and impacts how we allocate resources to recruit, select, train, support, retain, and engage corps members, alumni, and staff. In all we do, we act on the following beliefs.

→ Diversity is crucial for successful change efforts and is one of Teach For America's greatest strengths.

→ The full potential of our diverse network will be reached only when we are an inclusive community.

→ The predictability of success or failure for our students or individuals in our organization should not correlate with any social, cultural or other identity-based factors.

In striving to grow as individuals who lead with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusiveness, we focus on:

  • Understanding of self and self in relation to others. We examine our worldview and experiences to understand how they're influenced by power, privilege, oppression, and biases. As we deepen our understanding of self in relation to others, we seek out diverse perspectives and experiences to challenge our assumptions and expand our perspectives.
  • Understanding and interrupting systemic racism, classism, and other forms of oppression. We understand that our society and education system have been shaped by multiple forms of oppression, in particular racism and classism. We understand the role and impact of unconscious bias in establishing low expectations for children's capabilities, and we also see this play out in the workplace. Therefore, we commit to work together `to envision and implement new ways of operating that disrupt these systems and practices.
  • Working toward equity. We leverage this understanding to surface and interrupt inequitable practices in our schools as well as within our organization. In classrooms, we are committed to ensuring all students have the necessary resources, supports, and academic preparation they need to ensure full agency in their lives. In our organization, we're committed to allocating our resources and setting organizational policies, systems, and practices to reduce and eliminate gaps in experience and outcomes by demographic group.
  • Building inclusive coalitions. We recruit and retain a corps and staff that reflects the inclusive coalition we need representing our nation. Simultaneously, we ensure those of us who have faced educational inequity shape our direction. We intentionally build authentic relationships across lines of difference; facilitate honest and productive conflict among diverse groups; create structures, policies, and processes that enable this effort; and value the diversity of ideas and perspectives required in this effort.

Benefits and Salary

Salary for this position is competitive and depends on prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included. Learn more at www.teachforamerica.org/about-us/careers/employee-benefits.

Commitment to Diversity and Equal Opportunity Employment Policy

Teach For America encourages individuals of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds to apply for this position. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization, as we want to engage all those who can contribute to this effort. Learn more about our diversity on staff: www.teachforamerica.org/about-us/careers/life-at-tfa/workforce-diversity-and-inclusiveness.

Teach For America is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, parental status, genetic information or characteristics (or those of a family member) or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

This job description reflects Teach For America's assignment of essential functions and qualifications of the role. Nothing in this herein restricts management's right to assign, reassign or eliminate duties and responsibilities to this role at any time


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