Education Evolving Seeks Research and Communications Associate

We’re looking for a passionate and dedicated person to join our team full-time, in downtown Saint Paul, MN. The posting will remain open until April 22, 2016, but applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. To apply, send a cover letter describing relevant experience, a resume, three references, and two writing samples (if possible, one analytical sample and one journalistic sample; preferably on the topic of education policy, or policy, or education) to jobs@educationevolving.org.

About Education Evolving

Education Evolving (EE) is a non-profit, non-partisan policy analysis, design, and advocacy organization focused on improving student learning in American K-12 public education. A three-part theory of action guides our work:

  • Policy must create a climate of support and encouragement for innovation.
  • Teachers, knowing students as individuals, must collaboratively with their peers take the lead in designing schools that meet the needs of the students they serve.
  • Schools must break from traditional givens, must personalize learning, motivate students, and enrich and broaden the concept of “achievement”.

EE’s people have a long history of change making in K-12. They were instrumental in shaping the nation’s first public school choice and charter school laws in Minnesota, and have assisted with such laws in more than 20 other states. They helped bring the concepts of personalized learning and blended learning to the forefront of the K-12 debate, in particular through the book Disrupting Class. They have researched, assisted, and advocated for “teacher-led schools” for over 35 years, and are now advancing teacher leadership through the Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative.

Primary Project for 2016: Covering Chartering & Innovation

  • The primary project for this role in 2016 will be to help EE cover the charter sector of public education in Minnesota and in particular the Twin Cities metro. The coverage will be published primarily on EE’s blog, and will be broadcast via social media and other channels.
  • The goal of this work is to help policymakers and the general public see the now largely invisible charter sector of public education as a strategy for change—as more than the chartered schools created. Chartering creates an opportunity for innovation, which can and does spread within the charter sector and into the district sector.
  • Target audiences for this coverage are those in education policy generally; those in the chartered sector itself; those in the district sector; legislators and legislative staff; those in the state department of education; those in the media editing or covering education.
  • Potential topics might include school openings and closing; innovations occurring in specific schools; partnerships formed; significant personnel changes; etc. It will also involve covering charter authorizers; the review process currently underway; authorizer closures and new starts; etc. And, it will involve covering the legislative and rulemaking activity at the state legislature and the state department of education; committee hearings; workgroup meetings; etc. This work will involve both desk research and getting out into the community to visit schools and attend meetings.

General Job Responsibilities

  • Reporting, Research, Writing (60% to 70% of your time). As described above, a primary assignment for 2016 will be to cover the charter sector of public education. Additionally, you will assist EE people with research and writing for shorter research briefs and longer policy papers. Other areas of focus in 2016 are: federal and state policy barriers to innovation, measures of student achievement beyond test scores, and governance arrangements for large urban school districts.
  • Communications Coordination (15% to 20% of your time). Coordinate an editorial calendar of EE’s communications activities. Manage EE’s social media channels, such as Twitter and Facebook. Assist with the organization's website content. Develop relationships with journalists and bloggers.
  • Miscellaneous Support (15% to 20% of your time). We are a small organization, and all wear various hats from time to time. This may include: miscellaneous support to EE’s managing associate; planning events; writing grants; attending meetings and writing notes; assisting schools; maintaining a contacts database; and more as needed.

Qualifications

  • Experience researching and writing about public policy and/or education preferred but not required. Some experience in teaching is ideal.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a small team, prioritize and multi-task efficiently, and communicate clearly with those both inside and outside of the organization.
  • Excellent writing skills are a must. This means being able to: craft a strong argument, write concise and alluring prose, and proof carefully for grammar and spelling.
  • Excellent research skills are a must. This means: academic research, situational research, and media research.
  • Experience with cloud-based and social media tools, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Drive, Basecamp or other project management software, and a CRM such as Salesforce. Experience with a website CMS such as Drupal is helpful.

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, sex, marital status, disability, public assistance, age, sexual orientation, familial status, or local human rights commission activity.

Starting salary range is $35,000 to $45,000, with paid holidays and Personal Time Off (PTO), and a stipend to purchase health insurance through MNSure.

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