Chief Equity Officer, Mastery Schools
We believe educational inequity is the most pressing social problem facing our country and the civil rights issue of our day. Mastery exists to help solve this problem. Our ultimate goal is to create a model urban school district that serves all students with excellence. We are organized around one driving mission: All students learn the academic and personal skills they need to be truly prepared for postsecondary success and able to pursue their dreams. To fulfill this mission, we attend to the whole child – academically and emotionally – matching high expectations for students with high levels of support.
Mastery Charter Schools is a nonprofit network of more than 24 schools serving over 14,000 students in Philadelphia and Camden. We are the largest turnaround school operator in the nation and have been lauded by President Obama and the US Department of Education for our ability to dramatically boost academic achievement in historically low-performing schools.
We know neighborhood schools matter, all students deserve access to a great education, and the people in our building can grow and develop sustainably to make the biggest impact possible in this work.
MASTERY’S EQUITY VISION
We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to achieving our mission.
We strive to be an anti-racist school district that: eliminates the inequities in academic achievement that limit our students’ choices; that cultivates classrooms where every student is affirmed, supported, and held to high expectations; and that nurtures a diverse organization where students, staff, and families are valued, respected, and included.
Mastery Schools is seeking an exceptional leader to serve as Chief Equity Officer (CEQO) reporting directly to the CEO. Ultimately, the CEQO’s role is to ensure that equity is integrated into Mastery’s program model and organizational culture with the aim of fulfilling our vision to be a model urban public school district. As a senior leader, the CEQO will work closely with the CEO, Chiefs team, and school leaders to intentionally nurture a healthy, inclusive organizational culture. The CEQO will also work with the central Academic team, Student Development team, and school leaders to ensure equity is at the center of ongoing program development and improvement initiatives. The CEQO will serve as a thought partner to central office and school leaders in implementing Mastery’s plans for a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization and culture.
Mastery recently developed a comprehensive Equity Plan that was developed in partnership with school leaders and board members. The plan was further shaped based on feedback from school leaders, teachers, parents, and central office staff during a two-month review process. Ensuring the plan is well implemented will be the primary responsibility of the CEQO. The plan is a living document, and we fully expect the CEQO will influence and shape our approach to equity and the specifics of the plan over time. The work of equity is a central and unifying priority for the organization, and the CEQO ensures that the work evolves and positively influences all aspects of the organization’s work.
The CEQO is expected to have expertise in the field of DEI and the wisdom, large organization experience, and mature leadership to be able to lead and support a comprehensive strategy that influences nearly every department across the network. The CEQO is a systems thinker and strategic problem solver. The CEQO’s work will primarily be executed through dotted line relationships with the central office department leads as well as school leaders. Funds have been reserved for an additional staff person or consultant(s) to support the CEQO’s work.
This position represents a compelling opportunity to be part of a charter management organization that is addressing perhaps the most difficult and important problem facing public education – the systemic failure of public-school districts to truly serve high-poverty communities of color. Mastery is defining a new education model that incorporates the high expectations and a focus on developing the whole child. The CEQO will develop and implement a comprehensive equity program to support that mission.
The CEQO will be responsible for developing the vision, strategy, and implementation in these primary areas:
- Equity Vision & Leadership
The CEQO will partner with the CEO and Chiefs Team to ensure: equity is central to Mastery’s work; that the Equity Plan is implemented effectively; that results are monitored; and that plans are adjusted and improved. The CEQO will partner with the CEO to articulate an evolving equity vision for Mastery. The CEQO will also work with a Board Advisory Committee to monitor Mastery’s equity agenda.
Mastery is committed to nurturing the health of the organization and creating an inclusive community of educators who feel supported and connected to Mastery’s mission. The CEQO will build upon this vision, working in partnership with the CEO, Chief Talent Officer, and the senior leadership team. Specifically, the CEQO will:
- Ensure Mastery’s values, most notably our Equity Value, live and are nurtured in Mastery’s organizational culture;
- Staff receive professional development and support for working, managing, and leading in an organization that values diversity, equity, and inclusion;
- Partner with the Talent Team to ensure our staff recruitment meets our diversity hiring goals – the ultimate aim of which is to have our staff reflect the diversity of our communities;
- Partner with the Chiefs, Chief Talent Officer, Principal Supervisors, and school leaders to ensure that staff retention and promotion is equitable;
- Partner with the Academic Team and Chief Talent Officer to ensure effective training and programming that recognizes the influence of race and identity on staff, families, and students and how it significantly frames Mastery’s effectiveness as educators and ability to build authentic relationships with students and families.
We believe to achieve our mission, every student must be affirmed, supported, and held to high expectations. Accordingly, the CEQO partners with the Academic and Student Development Teams to ensure equity and inclusion is integrated in, and at the heart of, our work with students. Specifically, the CEQO will:
- Monitor our student equity metrics (academic growth & suspensions by subgroup), and partner with school leaders and the central office Academic & Student Development teams to identify and problem-solve issues;
- Partners with the central office Academic Team to support their work developing and supporting an instructional model that is relationship driven, culturally responsive, and effective;
- Partner with the Student Development team to support their work developing and supporting a school and classroom culture, as well as discipline system, that is student centered, relationship driven, culturally responsive, and effective;
- Work with the Specialized Service team to ensure IEP identification is not influenced by race, gender, or other factors and to develop strategies to eliminate inequities in IEP identification.
We believe that to achieve our mission parents must be true partners with Mastery in the education of their children. We recognize that staff’s ability to build authentic relationships with parents is a prerequisite to an effective partnership. The CEQO will:
- Ensure effective training for staff is developed and implemented aimed at enabling staff to develop quality relationships with parents.
CHARACTERISTICS AND QUALIFICATIONS
- Passionate about this work– driven to build a high-performing school district that delivers for all kids. Driven to create an inclusive organization where all staff feel seen and able to do their best work.
- Visionary– big picture thinker: can conceive, execute, and iterate what will be a national model for an equitable, high functioning, school district.
- Large organization leader– skilled at change management, communications, and scale program implementation in larger organizations. Able to lead cross-functionally.
- Analytical thinker– able to analyze why a program or initiative is effective or isn’t. Can drive to understand root cause, logic flaws, etc. Smart, quick learner who is curious and able to work complex problems through.
- Strategic thinker – a systems thinker who can see patterns in complex situations, think out of the box, and diagnose systemic strengths and weakness.
- Organized & execution obsessed– can keep many balls in the air; supports teams focused on execution and quality.
- Relationship builder– able to build relationships with multiple stakeholders including network support leaders, principals, teachers, and parents; self-aware with the ability to reflect and adapt to diverse environments.
- High personal standards – thoughtful, reflective, ethical adult with personal judgment and sky-high standards.
- Gravitas & Communication – effective writer & presenter. Can represent the organization internally and externally.
- Minimum eight (8) years of senior management experience.
- Experience in a large organization environment.
- Expertise/experience in the field of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
- Proven track record of achieving results in a large organization setting.
- Specific experience leading a talent function is strongly preferred but not required.
- Experience in the education and/or nonprofit field is a plus but not required.
Mastery Charter Schools is an equal opportunity employer and actively encourages applications from people of all backgrounds. Compensation is competitive and commensurate with experience. We offer a full benefits program and opportunities for professional growth.
UPDATE AS OF JULY 2020
Please review Mastery’s Back to School Plans here to learn about our response to COVID-19 for the 2020-2021 school year. For ongoing positions, Mastery roles are designated as in-person, with regular on-site responsibilities, unless otherwise noted. As such, employees must be able to support Mastery Schools’ academic plan and business strategies on-site – at a Mastery campus – as required.
Exceptions to this requirement will be considered on an individualized basis.
Applications (expression of interest letters and CVs), nominations, and contact information should be sent to Paul Spivey at MasterySchools@PhillipsOppenheim.com.
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