Pension Senior Analyst/Analyst
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 life.
Our work focuses on five service areas:
- Policy analysis and research
- Strategy and growth planning
- Organizational effectiveness and efficiency
- Implementation support
- 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.
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 low‐income 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
Bellwether’s Policy and Evaluation practice is looking to grow our team with a new Pension Analyst or Senior Analyst, depending on experience level, focused on teacher pension policy. Bellwether’s work on teacher pensions aims to make the issue more relevant to the general public, more compelling to policymakers, and more understandable and urgent for current teachers. For more information on our work on teacher pensions, visit www.teacherpensions.org.
Bellwether analysts conduct research, manage research processes, and draft work products for specific Bellwether projects. In turn, analysts gain broad exposure to education policy issues and thought leaders and will have the opportunity to develop substantial expertise in specific areas of education.
Analysts typically work on small internal teams, reporting to Bellwether senior associate partners or associate partners who in turn guide their work and support their professional development. This particular opportunity is in Bellwether’s Policy and Evaluation practice, led by Partner and Co-Founder Andrew Rotherham, and will report to Bellwether Senior Associate Partner Chad Aldeman.
The Analyst’s primary responsibilities and duties will be to:
- Conduct research on teacher pension issues and independently identify, gather, review, analyze, and synthesize relevant qualitative and quantitative data, using appropriate sources;
- Generate insights based on research on pensions and other education policy topics and contribute to the development of recommendations for clients, policymakers, and the field;
- Analyze financial reports, legislation, regulations, and other documents to understand their content and policy implications;
- Draft memos, analyses, slide decks, policy briefs, and reports presenting Bellwether’s research and analysis for internal and client use;
- Author or co-author reports and papers for client use or publication, presenting research and reports to client and/or public audiences, and disseminating published products to the field;
- Serve as a thought partner with Bellwether colleagues in analyzing and developing solutions to policy and client challenges; and
- Build knowledge of education issues and a network in the education policy community to become a go-to expert in the field of teacher pension policy.
Bellwether’s pension work is predicated on the evidence showing that, overall, teacher pensions do not work well for much of the teacher workforce, with only about one in five teachers qualifying for a full pension and more than half not qualifying for any pension at all. We do not advocate for any particular solution to these problems and believe there are a variety of remedies to today’s pension challenges, so candidates should be comfortable working in an environment where diversity of thought is valued.
Bellwether is a good 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.
In addition, the successful candidate will have:
- Exemplary research, writing, and communication skills;
- A high attention to detail and a commitment to producing the highest quality work;
- Strong problem-solving skills, including demonstrated resourcefulness in the face of complex challenges or barriers;
- A record of academic and personal accomplishment, including at least an undergraduate degree with strong academic performance;
- A highly self-motivated work style and willingness to proactively take on projects;
- A well-rounded interpersonal skill set with the capacity to work well both independently and in a team environment;
- Flexibility and the ability to deal well with ambiguity and the fast-paced nature of a growing virtual organization;
- Strong ethics and personal responsibility;
- Comprehensive computer skills including database searching, slide creation, word processing, and proficiency in Microsoft Excel (this position does not require proficiency in statistical data packages);
- At least a general understanding of U.S. education policy and practice and major policy trends, and a working knowledge of common resources for data and information; and
- A desire and ability to engage and own the key intellectual challenges and tensions encompassed by Bellwether’s work in the area of education policy, politics, and practice.
The following traits/skills are ideal but not required:
- 3-5 years’ professional experience in a role requiring research skills, attention to detail, and the ability to manage multiple, simultaneous, demanding deadlines;
- A master’s degree in public policy, economics, political science, education, journalism, or a related field;
- Demonstrated passion and commitment to working in the field of education reform; and
- Familiarity with the challenges facing U.S. public schools and efforts to improve them.
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.
Applications or inquiries about the position should be directed to:
Lynne Graziano, Recruitment Coordinator
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.