Job Opening: Chief Academic Officer, Teacher YOU Training Institute (New York)
- "TEACHER YOU" TRAINING INSTITUTE
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 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 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 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.
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
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;
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
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:
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.