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With permission from Cristo Rey Network

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Associate Partner

Policy and Thought Leadership

 

About Bellwether Education Partners

Bellwether Education Partners is a national nonprofit focused on dramatically changing education and life outcomes for underserved children. We do this by helping education organizations accelerate their impact and by working to improve policy and practice.

Bellwether envisions a world in which race, ethnicity, and income no longer predict opportunities for students, and the American education system affords all individuals the ability to determine their own path and lead a productive and fulfilling.

Our work focuses on five core areas:

  1. Policy analysis and research
  2. Strategy and growth planning
  3. Organizational effectiveness and efficiency
  4. Implementation support
  5. Educational program evaluation

We believe that the only way to ensure all children have access to a high-quality education is to take a holistic approach by changing field-level policies and perceptions while strengthening and supporting individual organizations. Since many of the challenges organizations face are complex, they require multiple perspectives and areas of expertise.

Through our integrated offerings, we provide comprehensive, coherent, and lasting solutions to education’s most long-standing and complicated problems.

Organizational Culture

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. From jumpsuits and talent shows at retreats, to PowerPoint presentations on werewolves and vampires at team meetings, we embrace our individuality — our quirks, talents, and diversity of viewpoints. 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:

  • Mission Mindset: We are dedicated to dramatically improving outcomes for lowincome students. Our nonprofit status allows us to focus on this mission, and it guides the people we hire and the clients and projects we support.
  • Tailored Excellence: We work with our clients to develop customized, innovative solutions. We direct our unwavering focus on quality toward successful outcomes for our clients.
  • Synergy: We believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that our teams make each other better.
  • Integrity: We exemplify the highest standards of individual and organizational ethics. We carefully balance client confidentiality with transparency to other clients and the public.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: We believe that to achieve our mission, we must be a diverse and inclusive organization broadly reflecting the various communities we serve.
  • Flexibility: We believe in the philosophy of “working smarter, not harder.” We trust our co-workers and teams to do excellent work in the manner they see fit.
  • No Drama: We have no tolerance for drama or the politics of education affecting our work. We respectfully and proactively deal with frustrations, disagreements, and unexpected hurdles.

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

The Associate Partner (AP) will play an important role in Bellwether’s growing evaluation practice. APs work as members of small teams and take strong leadership roles in both external and internal capacities. Externally, APs play an important role with clients and on client engagements by identifying issues, designing and implementing responsive plans, conducting research, analyzing quantitative and qualitative data sets, and communicating findings and recommendations to stakeholders. Throughout an engagement, an AP is directly involved in discussions and presentations with senior client leadership.  Internally, APs work closely with Bellwether Partners and Principals, and are assigned the role of overseeing and managing the output of more junior staff members (Analysts, Fellows) and sub-contractors for Bellwether. 

Associate Partners are accountable to Partners and Principals within Bellwether who, in turn, guide their work and invest in their professional development.  This particular opportunity is in the Policy and Thought Leadership practice within Bellwether, led by Co-Founder and Partner Andrew Rotherham and Partner Sara Mead; the AP will report to Partner Allison Crean Davis, who leads Bellwether’s evaluation practice. The AP will periodically have the opportunity to work across the Bellwether practice areas to broaden his/her skills and perspectives, including providing support to Bellwether’s Strategic Advising team.

In that context, the Associate Partner’s primary responsibilities and duties will be to:

  • take on team and client leadership responsibilities, as described above;
  • partner with clients to develop high quality evaluation plans in relation to prospective or existing initiatives, programs, or projects.
  • build capacity of clients and grantees for evaluation and continuous improvement
  • develop team work-plans and guide team to implement with a high degree of independence;
  • oversee and manage internal Analysts who perform research and analytical functions while supporting their development;
  • identify key data sources, and gather data through primary and secondary research;
  • manage and analyze complex data sets and summarize findings
  • support business development through relationship building and input to proposals and actively foster business development opportunities and connections on behalf of Bellwether;
  • write and deliver high-impact reports, presentations, and plans for a range of stakeholders;
  • contribute to Bellwether’s knowledge capture and dissemination;
  • take on internal roles to build out Bellwether’s key capabilities; and
  • generate creative, action-oriented insights and recommendations for both internal and external improvements.

Qualifications

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 strong experience designing and managing high profile evaluations, will bring a sophisticated understanding of research design and statistical analysis, will have contextual awareness of relevant issues in education reform, and will possess an entrepreneurial spirit. 

Additionally, the successful candidate will have the following:

  • at least five years’ professional experience in a role requiring evaluation design and implementation (both formative and summative), statistical analysis, project management, and reporting;
  • expertise in the application of cutting-edge methodological approaches to evaluating changes throughout complex and diverse organizations, preferably within the education sector;
  • knowledge of a wide range of quantitative data analytic techniques (knowledge of qualitative data analysis desirable but not required) and capability using statistical software (e.g., SPSS or other software) to perform analyses;
  • experience and commitment to building capacity for evaluation within organizations to drive systems change and improvement;
  • a well-rounded inter-personal skill set with the capacity to build strong senior client relationships, work effectively in team environments, and facilitate joint problem solving with clients and team;
  • strong communication skills, both verbal and written;
  • a highly self-motivated work style and willingness to proactively take on leadership roles within project teams and the firm;
  • maturity, flexibility, and comfort working in a small organization;
  • comfort with some travel; and
  • a Masters (required) or Ph.D. (preferred)  in the social sciences (e.g., Evaluation/Impact Evaluation, Psychology, Sociology, Economics) with strong familiarity of issues within the education sector.

Compensation

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.

Location

Our work is national in scope, and our team is primarily concentrated in two major cities: Washington, D.C. and Chicago. We prefer that this candidate be based in our Washington, D.C. office, but will consider qualified candidates outside the D.C. metro area.

To Apply

Applications or inquiries about the position should be directed to:

Allison Crean Davis, Partner

careers@bellwethereducation.org.

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 or curriculum vitae 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.