Job Opening: Regional Director of Community Development, Milwaukee at Rocketship
- Organizational Overview
Rocketship Education is a leading public school system for low-income elementary students. Founded in 2006, Rocketship Education (www.rsed.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation whose mission is to eliminate the achievement gap by building a national school system of K-5 charter schools. Rocketship has pioneered the transformative Rocketship Model, which combines teacher development, parent empowerment and individualized learning to improve student achievement.
Rocketship is benefitting the broader public school system and building stronger communities by graduating students who are entering middle school prepared to succeed. Rocketship¡¯s active partnership with families helps parents become fully-engaged, long-term advocates equipped to get their children to and through college.
The Rocketship School Model
Rocketship¡¯s model, which has delivered exceptional academic results, focuses on developing outstanding educators, empowering parents and providing individualized instruction through technology and tutors to improve student achievement.
Rocketship¡¯s goal is to transform teaching into the most desirable profession, allowing Rocketship schools to compete effectively against medicine, law and academia for top-quartile college graduates. Rocketship promotes a deep culture of teacher and leader sustainability by recruiting the nation's most promising teachers and leaders into classrooms largely driven by a close partnership with Teach for America. Teachers come to Rocketship for the innovative teaching environment offered by the organization, including higher compensation, a model that better utilizes their abilities and increased professional opportunities for professional advancement.
Rocketship fosters a deep connection between its schools and parents as it recognizes that parents are an essential element in helping Rocketeers excel. Rocketship equips families to prepare their children for the academic requirements of college and actively engages them in their children¡¯s education at all levels, including in the classroom, in school, at home and in the community.
Rocketship¡¯s learning approach combines traditional classroom learning with individualized instruction through its Learning Lab in which students spend one-on-one time with computers utilizing online technology and participate in intensive tutor-led small groups to master reading and math skills. Through this approach, approximately 90 percent of Rocketship¡¯s lowest-performing students move out of the bottom quartile within a year and the majority of Rocketeers achieve three years of academic growth for every two years in school.
Rocketship¡¯s Learning Lab, which uses skilled support staff since students are working one-on-one with computers utilizing educational programs, saves Rocketship $500,000 per year per school. These cost savings allow Rocketship to reinvest in its programs and people to drive school quality while operating solely and sustainably on traditional public school funding. Philanthropic dollars are not needed to fund current schools or open new schools. Instead, fundraising is used to design new, innovative programs and to develop the infrastructure necessary to expand into new regions.
Rocketship strives to eliminate the achievement gap in our lifetime by partnering with cities, school districts and communities across the U.S. that share Rocketship¡¯s sense of urgency. By bringing the unique Rocketship Model to thousands of low-income students and inspiring other public school systems to adopt similar practices for high-quality, scalable impact, this goal is attainable.
This is an exciting time for Rocketship Education Milwaukee. In November of 2011 the City of Milwaukee approved Rocketship¡¯s petition to operate eight schools starting in 2013. On the national front, Rocketship made history in December of 2012 by being approved for twenty charters by the Santa Clara County Office of Education ¨C the largest charter approval in the country. With the capacity to expand to almost thirty schools across the country in the next five years, Rocketship must continue to build upon our core philosophy and strength of community engagement and empowerment while also navigating the local political and civic landscape. As one of three leaders reporting directly to the Milwaukee Vice President, the Director of Community Development will play a critical role in building the premier network of high-performing charter schools within Milwaukee. With the support and guidance of the Chief Growth Officer, the Milwaukee Director of Community Development will act as the primary local political strategist, while also guiding the development and expansion of Rocketship¡¯s community engagement and advocacy model in Milwaukee.
The Milwaukee Director of Community Development will lead the regional efforts to build political capacity and currency within the city by partnering effectively with parents, community organizations, faith-based institutions, private sector institutions, local school district leadership, civic leaders and public officials as key collaborators and stakeholders in closing the achievement gap. This is a hands-on, senior-level regional role as a leader in a small but rapidly growing entrepreneurial organization so the Director must bring management experience as well as a roll-up-your-sleeves attitude and work ethic.
The Milwaukee Director of Community Development will:
¡ñ Build and lead the mission-critical Regional Community Development team, Develop and manage team performance and integrate strong accountability systems, as well as professional development plans and support for team members;
¡ñ Foster relationships and develop champions with community based organizations, faith leaders, elected officials, civic and community leaders that lead to positive engagement of the community and neighborhoods where Rocketship has and will have a presence;
¡ñ Lead the successful implementation and development of Rocketship¡¯s student recruitment model in order to ensure that all schools open fully enrolled with robust waiting lists (at least 25%) that clearly demonstrate the need for additional Rocketship schools in Milwaukee;
¡ñ Lead the implementation and development of Rocketship¡¯s parent empowerment and advocacy model to ensure that parents are deeply engaged in Rocketship¡¯s work and are highly effective advocates for educational reform throughout the city;
¡ñ Develop and implement parental engagement strategies that lead to a meaningful parent-led advocacy and activism. Advise on school-level strategies in support of parent empowerment;
¡ñ Develop and refine a strategic plan for Milwaukee growth to ensure that Rocketship Milwaukee can continue opening schools beyond the 2016-17 school year, along with a consortium of key local charter school leaders and other CMOs;
¡ñ Identify and recruit supporters to develop a broad-based coalition (i.e., school personnel, community based organizations, businesses, universities, etc.) that can be leveraged on an ongoing basis to advocate for key policy outcomes that support Rocketship¡¯s mission;
¡ñ Partner and collaborate with LaunchPad, our real estate development partner, to effectively navigate the political processes that are necessary to ensure that Rocketship can continue to open brand-new school facilities;
¡ñ Assist the CGO in influencing Wisconsin state policy that positively impact Rocketship operations;
¡ñ Manage effective communications with local media and drive awareness through outstanding communications among regional, education and local thought-leaders and media outlets as the proven leader of successful, scalable reforms in public education in the United States;
¡ñ Lead all charter renewal and application processes in order to support all high performing Rocketship schools to be successfully renewed and further develop Rocketship¡¯s impact and growth in Milwaukee.
This is an outstanding opportunity to play a critical role in public education reform in Milwaukee and beyond. The Milwaukee Director of Community Development must believe that no student¡¯s life is subject to the destiny of demographics.
The successful candidate will have the following skills and experience:
¡ñ The ability to position Rocketship in the policy arena as an agent for positive change through strong communication and strategic skills;
¡ñ Three or more years in the education field, a significant portion of which should be in policy resulting in a sophisticated understanding of local and state education politics;
¡ñ Two or more years as a manager, including a demonstrable track record of assembling effective teams, strategic planning, communicating a vision and setting priorities, managing team execution, delegating, mentoring others and developing emerging leaders;
¡ñ Demonstrated ability to interact and cultivate support among diverse constituencies, including public officials, key external agencies and stakeholders;
¡ñ A significant network of local and district education officials to aid in Rocketship¡¯s local work and expansion;
¡ñ Verbal and written fluency in a second language preferred. Spanish Preferred
¡ñ A bachelor¡¯s degree.
The ideal candidate will also possess some combination of the following:
¡ñ In-depth experience running political campaigns for individuals and/or issues;
¡ñ Experience inside or working with an urban, public school district;
¡ñ Experience with local Milwaukee politics;
¡ñ A results-oriented, goal-driven, team approach to work;
¡ñ Confidence and persuasiveness compelling enough to bring divergent groups together;
¡ñ A communications background;
¡ñ Experience working in a high-growth (100% annual growth) start-up environment;
¡ñ A sense of urgency; and
¡ñ An advanced degree, preferably in Education or Public Policy.
Commensurate with qualifications and experience, plus excellent health and welfare benefits, 403(b) retirement plan, flexible spending account (FSA), and paid time off.
Please submit a cover letter and resume via email to jobs@... and include the position title in the subject line. Rocketship Education will invite select candidates for interviews. Interviews will continue until the position is filled. Hiring is contingent upon successful completion of employment verification and hiring process.
Ideal start date: Spring 2012.