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Partner, New and Innovative Schools

Company: The Opportunity Trust
Location: Saint Louis
Posted on: August 7, 2022

Job Description:

Job DescriptionTITLEPartner, New and Innovative SchoolsREPORTS TOChief Executive OfficerTHE CHALLENGE It is estimated that 65% of children entering elementary school today will work in jobs that currently do not exist. More than 5 million jobs will disappear in the next five years alone due to the rapid economic transformation underway. Our schools and school systems were designed to serve a different economy and population of children and have largely remained unchanged in the last century. As a result, they are failing to prepare children in our country for a life of economic opportunity and choice, or to navigate our diverse and dynamic global society. The St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS), serving more than 20,000 students, recently earned its way off of the state's probation list for improvements in attendance and fiscal management; yet, 91% of students fail to meet basic proficiency in mathematics by the 8th grade, nearly a third of students will not graduate, and those that do earn an average ACT score of 17 (four points below the already low bar for initial college or career readiness of 21). Normandy, just outside of city borders, had a composite ACT score of 15, ranking in the bottom quartile nationally. Absent a coordinated and systemic approach, progress in the aggregate remains limited while the stakes of the status quo increasingly limit the choices of children attending our public schools and hamper the social and economic vitality of the region.ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY TRUSTThe Opportunity Trust exists to ensure every child born in St. Louis is prepared to lead a life of choice and dignity as an adult. It pursues this mission by examining barriers to economic mobility in the St. Louis region, developing research-based theories of system-level change, and building national and local funds dedicated to eliminating these barriers over time. One of the most urgent barriers to opportunity in St. Louis today is the changing nature of work and our increasingly outdated and ineffective public education system. Our first focus, Reimagining School, aims to catalyze a fundamental transformation of our public education system so that it can prepare children for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Building off the successes and failures of the most effective transformations of public education in our nation, this fund will invest in the following levers that together drive systemic change:

  • Building the vision and capacity of talented educators to scale, transform and launch new and innovative schools in St. Louis;
  • Growing talent pipelines for the education sector and deploying talent to the highest impact interventions;
  • Providing tools and resources for parents to help them advocate for higher quality school options and place their children in the best-fit school; and,
  • Building awareness among leaders in business and government about the conditions that enable quality schools and advocating for the institutionalization of those conditions in state and local policy.Beyond strategically deploying financial capital, The Opportunity Trust works to ensure the success of each fund in four ways:
  • Identifying what is working and amplifying the impact of those organizations and leaders;
  • Identifying and supporting entrepreneurs with local ties to fulfill unmet needs;
  • Connecting organizations to each other and to resources nationally and locally; and,
  • Coordinating and supporting the rigorous evaluation of current approaches and advocating for evidence-based local and state policy changes. ABOUT YOUR ROLEThe Partner's role is to lead investments in new and innovative schools and to collaborate with the Partners leading investments across the Trust's other strategic priorities to ensure we grow the percentage of children in high quality schools and create the conditions for continuous improvement and innovation in the public education ecosystem in St. Louis. In addition, the leader in this role will build partnerships with aligned organizations and leaders locally and nationally. In collaboration with the CEO, the Partner will develop and maintain a market strategy focused on growing the number of children in St. Louis who attend a high quality public school that operates with the autonomy and governance needed to ensure sustainability over time. The Partner is involved in the full lifecycle of the Trust's investment work: researching and conducting due diligence on prospects, making recommendations to the Trust's Board of Directors, setting and monitoring progress toward investment goals, and evaluating the impact of the fund over time. The Partner will also provide direct management assistance to grantees, so deep familiarity with multiple aspects of school system improvement is necessary for this role. Lastly, the Partner will represent the Trust at regional and national networking events and conferences.WHAT YOU'LL DO● Lead the design and implementation of a new school incubator, including overseeing the recruitment, selection, and support of fellows through new school launch ● Organize and convene learning and networking opportunities for grantees and fellowship participants● Forge and manage national and local partnerships to that support new school incubation fellows in successfully navigating the design, authorization, and launch processes● Analyze the performance of investments and provide management assistance to ensure grantees are tracking toward investment goals● Lead due diligence and recommend continued and new investments aligned with your strategy to the Trust's Board of Directors● Represent the Trust externally at events throughout the region and in national conversations on school improvement● Co-manage an Associate Partner and Grants and Program Manager in support of your strategic goals● Support fundraising and grant writing activities as neededYOUR BACKGROUNDSkills● Extensive knowledge of current research and thinking in strategic school design, school improvement, human capital development, family engagement and education policy● Proven ability to lead teams of adults to positive outcomes● Exceptional oral and written communication skills, including the ability to build strong relationships with stakeholders at all levels, including school-based staff● Strong analytical skills, including a structured approach to problem-solving● Extensive project management skills – from discovery and problem identification through execution and continuous improvement – honed from designing and implementing complex initiativesPrior Experience● At least 12 years of prior experience in the education sector in a leadership role related to the launch, redesign, or dramatic improvement of a public school● Comfort working in a startup environment, including experience leading effectively through ambiguity, change and unpredictability● Prior experience in program design, management, and implementation for adult learning and leadership with diverse leadersEducation● Bachelor's degree and significant work experience commensurate with graduate-level proficiency in these areasAND/OR● Master's degree in education, quantitative social science, public policy, public administration, business or related fields WHAT WE OFFER● Competitive salary and benefits● Flexible work environment● Passionate, mission-driven colleaguesPowered by JazzHRh01xUbBGGZ

Keywords: The Opportunity Trust, St. Louis , Partner, New and Innovative Schools, Other , Saint Louis, Missouri

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