About Bellwether Education Partners
Bellwether Education Partners is a national, nonpartisan nonprofit of over 50 professionals dedicated to helping education organizations become more effective and achieve dramatic results, especially for high-need students. To do so, we work in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and provide a unique combination of exceptional thinking, talent, and hands-on strategic support:
Why bring all this together? Bellwether was founded on the belief that the only way to ensure that all children have access to high-quality schools is to take a holistic approach to education’s most pressing challenges. Having all three areas of expertise makes our work stronger by tying innovative thinking to perspectives regarding on-the-ground realities.
In this way, Bellwether has carved out a special and desperately needed niche in the education reform landscape. We aren’t just a think tank, a consulting firm, or a human capital organization. We are all of the above and more, providing comprehensive, coherent, and lasting solutions to education’s most long-standing and complicated problems.
Bellwether takes our mission of serving educators, students, organizations, and communities seriously. But we try not to take ourselves as individuals quite so seriously. We do challenging work, and we know how to have fun. We welcome different experiences and perspectives because we know that our team is stronger for having a variety of political, cultural, and educational beliefs represented.
Bellwether strives to make the work rewarding and sustainable so we can find harmony between demanding jobs and full personal lives. We are proud that our team has poets, hockey players, food bloggers, activists, teachers, karate black belts, church leaders, cyclists, and much more. Our flexible work environment allows many of our team members to work where they like, and when they like (within reason, of course). This allows us to operate in ways that feel most productive to us and do more of what we love doing on our own time.
These qualities are clear in the core values that guide our work and reflect what is truly important to us as an organization:
Further, we value many forms of diversity and believe race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic issues play an especially acute role in the education sector and consequently our work. By actively seeking and hiring talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and maintaining an environment where divergent ideas and perspectives are freely expressed, we increase our collective ability to deliver thoughtful, relevant solutions and analyses for our clients and the education sector.
About the Position
Although we believe that charter management organizations (CMOs) are improving over time and are making a significant, positive impact in reforming urban education, the quality of student outcomes across the charter sector is not consistently high enough, nor is the sector on a path to scale with high quality at a rapid pace. At Bellwether we work with many CMOs on strategic plans for growth, but we do not currently have sufficient expertise to identify specific opportunities for improvement within their academic strategies, or to support the consistent implementation of these strategies. The Academic Strategy Senior Adviser will lead our effort to build this expertise, which we believe is essential to deepening our impact with growing CMOs.
The ideal candidate for the Academic Strategy Senior Adviser position will bring a strong track record of success in building effective instructional systems and strategies within schools and systems of schools, and in diagnosing challenges in under-performing schools and developing plans for improvement. The ideal candidate will have experience scaling systems that support strong performance, working through others to achieve results, and collaborating with instructional leaders in schools and in network offices. The candidate will bring a sophisticated understanding of relevant issues in charter school growth and replication, a network in the field of education (particularly with charter and CMO operators), and an entrepreneurial spirit. This pairing of content expertise and entrepreneurialism is particularly important given that Bellwether is still a growing organization. Senior Advisers play a critical role in business development and service delivery, and contribute to the success of the firm in terms of financial sustainability and impact in the field of education.
The Academic Strategy Senior Adviser will take on the important challenge of defining, and then building out Bellwether’s initial efforts to support partner organizations, primarily CMOs, to clarify, assess, and improve their academic strategies and implementation. Bellwether has worked with over 50 CMOs to build strategic plans for growth. We bring strong expertise in organizational design, financial modeling, operations, governance, and strategy – along with a proven process for leading executive teams through the planning process to build a common vision and plan. However, we do not currently have on our team individuals who can effectively help CMOs clarify their academic strategies and identify specific plans for improvement. The Academic Strategy Senior Adviser will bring this expertise and will build out Bellwether’s capacity to do this work.
This Senior Adviser role will be a leadership role within the organization and will contribute to building the firm with the partner team by contributing to decisions on organizational strategy, financials, marketing, hiring, operations, and development of field-leading intellectual capital. The Senior Adviser will report to Managing Partner and Co-Founder Mary Wells and work most closely with Partners Lina Bankert and Rebecca Goldberg and Principal Steph Itelman. Additionally, Senior Advisers often work across the organization, and may partner with our Policy and Thought Leadership and/or Talent teams. While the Senior Adviser will have the opportunity to work across the Bellwether practice areas to broaden his/her skills and perspectives, the majority of time will be allocated to supporting Strategic Advising.
In that context, the Senior Adviser’s primary responsibilities and duties will be to:
Bellwether is a strong fit for professionals who possess strong personal drive and motivation; demonstrate exemplary professional behavior and values, and who are resourceful, responsible, tenacious, independent, and self-confident.
The ideal candidate for this position will have formal training and experience from a premier CMO in an academic and/or principal-management role, bring a sophisticated and wide-ranging understanding of successful strategies that CMOs use to drive strong results for students, and possess an entrepreneurial spirit. In addition, the successful candidate will have:
Bellwether Education Partners provides competitive compensation and an attractive benefits package that includes a performance bonus based on individual and firm success, health care coverage, and a 401(k) plan with an employer matching contribution policy.
Our work is national in scope, and our team is primarily concentrated in three major cities: Washington, D.C.; Chicago; and San Francisco. Although we maintain offices in these cities, and strongly encourage our team to regularly access their local office, our flexible working style allows our professionals to work where they have built their lives, thereby enabling Bellwether to hire the best person for each role, regardless of geography.
Applications or inquiries about the position should be directed to:
Mary Wells, Co-Founder and Managing Partner
The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Applications should consist of a letter of interest and a current résumé and should be submitted electronically.
Bellwether Education Partners is committed to providing equal opportunities. It is our policy to ensure that all individuals with whom we are in contact are not discriminated against on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, color, disability, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status. Further, as described above, Bellwether is committed to building a diverse team and strongly encourages individuals from all backgrounds to apply.