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1270Job Opening: Chief Academic Officer, Teacher YOU Training Institute (New York)

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  • momolozier
    Dec 2, 2007
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      Position: Founding Chief Academic Officer
      Location: New York, NY

      The "Teacher YOU" Training Institute is a groundbreaking Masters
      Degree program in the field of urban education which represents a
      radically different approach to the preparation of teachers.

      The newly-launched, evolving, and yet-to-be-named Institute is the
      result of an unprecedented collaboration between visionaries in
      public K-12 education, public higher education, and the non-profit
      community. Specifically, the program was conceived by the founders
      of three of the nation's top non-profit charter management
      organizations – Achievement First, KIPP, and Uncommon Schools – who
      collectively observe that traditional teacher preparation programs
      are not training and supplying enough of the quality teachers needed
      to provide transformative educational experiences for urban
      students. They are united by the conviction that teacher quality is
      the number one predictor of student achievement. The lack of great
      teachers for our neediest students is the greatest obstacle to
      closing our nation's shameful achievement gap.

      These leaders sought a strong and innovative partner in higher
      education to host and help design a pioneer degree program designed
      to alleviate this talent dilemma and found senior administrators at
      New York City's Hunter College who were eager to contribute to a
      solution. Finally, leading philanthropists Larry and Amy Robbins,
      along with NYC's Robin Hood Foundation, shared the vision of this
      compelling model and provided essential operating support.

      The result is a fully-funded program and an evolving curriculum which
      uses innovative methods to model, teach and reinforce the attitudes,
      skills, and content knowledge required to be a great teacher. These
      techniques are based upon the notable and proven success of
      Achievement First, KIPP, and Uncommon Schools, each of which operate
      on the frontier of U.S. K-12 public education in under-resourced

      The mission of the Institute is to teach teachers how to develop in
      all students the academic skills and strength of character needed to
      succeed in college and life. Our hope is that this new generation
      of continuously-improving, results-focused teachers – and the
      dramatic, measurable success of their students – will inspire
      transformational change in teacher education and student achievement,
      which, in turn, will help build the better tomorrow we all believe is

      The Program
      The Institute has worked with Hunter College to launch a two-year
      program that begins with certification and culminates in a Master's
      degree from Hunter. The dynamic 450-hour curriculum is delivered by
      a team which includes the best teachers and leaders from the highest
      performing charter schools (who are appointed adjunct faculty members
      by Hunter) as well as several top-notch Hunter professors. While the
      content and course methodology are being designed in collaboration
      with Hunter College, the curriculum represents a new direction within
      the School of Education and reflects a significant commitment of
      energy and intellectual capital from the Dean of the School of
      Education. The approach is based largely on the combined practices of
      teachers in Achievement First, KIPP, and Uncommon Schools.
      Similarly, the Institute's admissions process and requirements differ
      somewhat from that of the mainstream program. Finally, the program
      is designed to accommodate and complement the rigorous schedules of
      public school teachers who, in order to earn their degrees, must
      demonstrate actual in-class student growth and achievement.

      Despite the fact that curriculum and program design are ongoing, the
      Institute's pilot cohort has been recruited and coursework for these
      students began in July 2007. Comprised of 40 promising teachers
      mainly from the three founding charter management organizations, this
      pilot cohort will continue in the program over the next two years.
      They will be joined in the fall by a new cohort of approximately 100
      participants. Ultimately, the goal is to serve an annual cohort of
      500 public charter and district school teachers which will, in turn,
      mean an enrollment of 1,000 public school teachers at any one time.

      The Organization
      The Institute is a non-profit entity which is formally separate from
      Hunter College. It is a start-up that will open and operate much in
      the spirit of Achievement First, KIPP and Uncommon Schools:
      optimistic, entrepreneurial, focused on excellence, and full of
      urgency about bringing about meaningful change for its students and
      the world around them. Much like its name, curriculum, and program
      design, the Institute's organizational structure is a work in
      progress. Several recent developments include:

      • Senior-level staffing: The Institute has identified its
      founding Chief Executive Officer and will make a public announcement
      in January 2008. Additionally an outstanding Chief Operating Officer
      has been hired and is already on board.
      • Growing pipeline: The leadership of the New York City
      Department of Education has indicated its intention to direct as many
      as 350 of its NYC Teaching Fellows to this program annually and the
      Institute is exploring partnerships with historically black colleges
      and universities in hopes of establishing itself as a selective
      option for graduates.
      • Numerous systems still in development: The Institute's
      accounting, for instance, is being handled by staff at the Robin Hood
      Foundation until the 501c3 is completed.

      Having captured the attention of the academic, philanthropic, and
      education reform communities and established itself as a cutting-edge
      alternative to traditional professional development for teachers, the
      Institute must now build its core. It must crystallize its
      curriculum and academic strategy, fine tune its operations, determine
      how best to leverage its considerable resources, and build its team
      in order to have the greatest possible impact on teachers and their

      The Search
      The fact that the Institute was able to launch successfully in the
      absence of much formal infrastructure is largely a reflection of a
      small team of passionate and mission-driven individuals from each of
      the various organizations involved who are working beyond the
      specific scope of their own job descriptions. The job description of
      the founding Chief Academic Officer (CAO) will be similarly fluid.
      Although the CAO will have an opportunity to shape, clarify, and
      solidify the curricular and programmatic components of the Institute,
      there is no precedent for this model so there is no existing "road
      map." Therefore, the Institute seeks a self-directed, take-charge
      leader to implement the next exciting phase of the program's
      evolution -- one in which it will build upon the foundation laid by
      its groundbreaking launch.

      The Position
      Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

      The CAO will lead the ongoing design, planning, delivery, and
      assessment of the Institute's curriculum.

      The CAO will oversee and coordinate all academic programming and
      related support services for both students and instructors in the

      The CAO must identify, recruit, supervise, evaluate and retain a high
      quality faculty at the Institute.

      The CAO must foster a culture of high standards, commitment, and
      urgency within the Institute.

      The CAO must measure the learning outcomes of both graduates and
      their students and assess the need for related changes in the program
      to ensure that Teacher YOU realizes its full potential as a premier
      teacher training program.

      The CAO will work with a diverse group of stakeholders, including the
      founding CMOs, Hunter College, the State accrediting agency and other
      prospective partners.

      Requisite Skills & Experience
      This is an outstanding and unique opportunity to play an integral
      role in public education reform. Therefore, first and foremost, the
      CAO must share the founders' sense of urgency about the need to
      improve teacher training and student achievement.

      Additionally, candidates for the position must have:

      • The ability to recognize transformational, results-oriented
      • Demonstrable and tested experience in curriculum development;
      • Tested experience in an urban school environment or,
      minimally, demonstrated commitment to the improvement of public
      • A high level of hope, gratitude, grit, confidence,
      decisiveness, social intelligence, empathy and enthusiasm;
      • Excellent organization, project, and people management
      skills; ability to implement programs, manage details, and work
      independently; ability to develop, revise, and implement procedures
      and systems; and ability to manage multiple projects with multiple
      deadlines and set priorities accordingly;
      • Experience in meeting rigorous standards of excellence,
      definitely as an employee and ideally as a manager;
      • Persuasive strategic communication skills and the ability to
      lead meetings, deliver presentations, give speeches, and represent
      Teacher YOU to external audiences;
      • Proven leadership skills with the ability to inspire, develop
      and evaluate a diverse team;
      • The ability to thrive in a fast-paced, unstructured,
      entrepreneurial environment without formal training or orientation;
      • Sharp intellect;
      • Creative problem-solving skills;
      • A sense of humor; and
      • A minimum of a Bachelor's Degree.

      Teacher YOU offers competitive salaries commensurate with
      experience. Full benefits package offered.

      Ideal Start Date
      On or, ideally, before March 15, 2008

      Application Process
      The Search Committee is soliciting nominations and expressions of
      interest immediately. Nominations or applications (with current
      resume and letter of interest) should be sent electronically and
      ideally before January 15th, 2008 to:

      Monisha Lozier
      President, Cobbe Place Consulting

      The founders of Teacher YOU have a proven commitment to diversity
      and actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search.