Improvement Specialist (Education)
WestEd is a nonpartisan, nonprofit agency that conducts and applies research, develops evidence-based solutions, and provides services and resources in the realms of education, human development, and related fields, with the end goal of improving outcomes and ensuring equity for individuals from infancy through adulthood. WestEd has more than a dozen offices nationwide, from Massachusetts, Georgia, and Washington, DC, to Arizona and California, with headquarters in San Francisco.
WestEd is seeking to fill the position of Improvement Specialist to support education teams in the design and execution of improvement efforts and the building of improvement capacity. The Improvement Specialist will work with WestEd staff, partner organizations, and network affiliates to investigate problems of practice, develop theories of improvement, and test promising change ideas. The ideal candidate will have at least 5 years of experience leading and coaching improvement efforts in educational contexts. This experience should be close to the work of teachers and schools. He/she will be able to effectively manage complex projects and aggressive timelines, plan and implement improvement projects, and provide outstanding client services.
Candidates should be familiar with education practice, policy, and research associated with one or more of the following areas: chronic absenteeism; early grade literacy; English learners; special education; middle or high school mathematics; college readiness; school culture, climate, & leadership; instructional coaching; career pathways; and/or teacher preparation. Knowledge of the California policy context is also desirable, including the implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS); A-G subject requirements; the Differentiated Assistance (DA) process; and/or the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process.
Candidates should also be familiar with one or more quality improvement methodologies (e.g., the Model for Improvement, Lean Six Sigma, Total Quality Management) and associated theory (e.g., Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge, Carnegie’s Six Principles, systems theory, organizational psychology, institutional theory).
- Leading and coaching of improvement project teams
- Designing and delivering high-quality improvement science-based trainings
- Project management, including developing and managing budgets, milestones, and timelines
- Facilitating design and prototyping processes, including user-centered design and rapid scanning processes (e.g., 90-Day Cycles)
- Production of written materials including training materials, blog posts, documentation of improvement efforts, and research-based articles.
- Communicating and collaborating with diverse, multi-functional teams, especially the development of close, trusting relationships.
- A master’s degree or comparable experience.
- At least 5 years of experience supporting improvement work in an educational context.
- Experience managing complex projects.
- Experience coaching improvement teams to outcomes.
- Strong oral and written communication skills.
- Comfort working in contexts of ambiguity and uncertainty.
- Ability to learn on-the-job, give and receive constructive feedback, and grow into new roles and responsibilities as the work demands.
- Ability to manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
- Ability to work collaboratively in a team and treat diverse groups of staff and clients respectfully.
- Ability to work on a flexible schedule and travel up to 25% (3-4 days/month).
- A demonstrated commitment to educational equity
This is a WestEd Level H role. Must be authorized to work in USA (visa sponsorship not available).
Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities