We’re looking for a passionate and dedicated person to join our team full-time in late August 2024 (start date negotiable). Our office is in Minneapolis but the position is hybrid, involving an average of ~50% in the office or attending meetings (primarily in the metro), and ~50% optionally working from home. This position has some travel responsibilities within MN and nationally.

The position is open until filled, with a priority application deadline of June 15, 2024. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

To apply please send a cover letter describing relevant experience, a resume, and two brief (approximately 300 to 1000 words) writing samples preferably on the topic of education, policy, or both to jobs@educationevolving.org.

About Education Evolving 

Our school system was never designed to equitably serve all students, nor to prepare them for a changing 21st-century world.

Fortunately, brilliant and entrepreneurial students, educator teams, and communities are changing this reality. They’re building student-centered schools where relationships are centered and students’ identities are honored and nurtured—and where learning is driven by students, relevant to and embedded in their lives and communities, and oriented around mastering skills rather than passing time in seats.

Our organization’s role is to support these leaders at the policy and systems level—opening up opportunities, clearing barriers they face, and helping to scale up what they’ve proven works. Specifically, our theory of change is two-fold:

  • School decisions must be made closer to students, by teams of educators working collaboratively and sharing power, among their team and with the students, families, and communities they serve.
  • Policy must seek to catalyze change rather than mandating change from above. It must clear barriers, offer support, and provide space and autonomy for school communities and teacher teams to lead change.

We advance this theory of change through three strategies: thought leadership to shift hearts and minds; advocacy to shift policies and institutions; and educator support to shift practices and prove change is possible. For more information see our About Us page.

Position Description

The Policy Director leads EE’s advocacy efforts—seeing through meaningful policy change to make education more student-centered and teacher-powered. They nurture community relationships to better understand student and educator needs, collaboratively develop a policy agenda to meet those needs and build strategic partnerships to deepen our advocacy impact. Our current policy priorities are described in this blog post.

Specific Responsibilities

  • General Policy and Partnerships (~30%)
    • Convene and nurture relationships with our Policy Advisory Council (a group of about 15 educators and community leaders), as well as student leaders with whom they work, to inform our specific policy priorities and strategies. EE believes that policy must be shaped by those it affects. The makeup of and relationship with this council is vital to our impact. This may include offering support and training to council members, youth, and others as they raise their voices as advocates.
    • Lead collaboration between the Policy Advisory Council and the EE Policy Team to set specific yearly policy priorities. Provide overall oversight, coordination, and support across our priorities (other EE Policy Team members will lead specific policy priorities).
    • Maintain and deepen relationships with policymakers (including contacts at state education agencies, legislators, and legislative staff), and with other organizations and individuals (including advocacy and community-based organizations, student groups, associations, higher education, teacher preparation, unions, etc.). Respond to media inquiries (podcasts, interviews, etc).
    • Support others on the EE team in policy-related fundraising meetings and tasks (for example, reviewing grant proposals focused on policy work, attending meetings with funders, and strengthening funder relationships).
    • Maintain an overall awareness of and presence in the Minnesota education policy scene, including being an active participant in the yearly legislative session, representing EE in hearings, and participating in community and coalition meetings.
  • Lead Specific Policy Priorities (~60%)
    • Specific tasks will vary based on each priority and the phase it is in, but likely include:
    • Exploration. Understanding a problem or opportunity our community has raised. This includes listening, building relationships, and finding key spokespeople and champions.
    • Recommendations. Working with our community to develop recommendations. This includes interviews, listening sessions, landscape scans on what others have tried, and academic research to build the case.
    • Advocacy. Developing and executing an advocacy strategy (i.e. legislative, rulemaking, legal). This includes finding and supporting powerful champions, developing materials, holding outreach meetings, arranging testimony, etc
    • Implementation. Watching over and supporting a policy change as it moves into implementation. This includes finding and supporting champions who will carry the torch, offering both support and accountability.
  • Other Projects and Duties (~10%)
    • We are a small organization, and all wear various hats from time to time. While the list of responsibilities above may describe a typical week, there will be exceptions.
    • Our internal EE team meets weekly for a team meeting and one-on-one check-ins. 
    • EE also hosts and organizes one to two larger events per year and all team members actively participate in the design as well as event responsibilities.

Qualifications

Candidates should possess a strong commitment to EE’s mission, and in particular to building a more just and liberatory system of public education. We’re committed to ensuring that our policy work is guided and shaped by those it impacts. Applicants must be comfortable working with diverse groups of students, educators, parents, and community leaders.

The ideal candidate has:

  • Experience in public policy, education, or education policy. Some experience working directly with students (as a teacher, youth worker, or other educator) is ideal.
  • Superb public speaking skills and ability to explain and communicate clearly, and build trust and relationships with community members, policymakers, and media.
  • Outstanding collaboration skills to build consensus and communicate clearly with a small team, be a self-starter, work independently, prioritize, and multi-task efficiently.
  • Strategy skills, in particular the ability to develop, oversee, and juggle many strategies and action plans within technically complex and politically complicated policy issue areas.
  • Excellent facilitation skills to convene, lead, and foster inclusive and equitable participation among groups of diverse students, educators, and community leaders.
  • Strong research and writing skills, including the ability to source and cite from community and academic sources, craft strong arguments, and write concise and compelling prose.
  • Technology skills and experience with cloud-based tools such as Google Drive, Asana (or other project management software), and Salesforce (or other CRM software).

COMPENSATION. Salary range is $75,000 to $95,000, depending on qualifications and experience.

Education Evolving is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds. We provide equal access to and opportunity in our organization without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender identity, sex, marital status, disability, public assistance status, age, sexual orientation, familial status, or local human rights commission activity.