Philadelphia School Partnership

Special Projects Manager, Philadelphia School Partnership

Posted on March 5, 2018

The Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP) works to give every child in America’s fifth largest city the opportunity to attend a great school. We invest philanthropic funds in high-impact schools so they can serve more low-income students—whether they be in the traditional public, public charter or private sectors. Our aim is to catalyze the creation or transformation of enough schools to ensure better options for 50,000 students, or nearly one in four of all Philadelphia schoolchildren. Since 2011 PSP has invested in more than 50 schools, creating new educational opportunity for 21,000 students. PSP also works to create the conditions that enable great schools to grow and thrive, including a strong pipeline of qualified teachers and principals, resources and initiatives to empower parents and families, and policies that enable entrepreneurial school leadership and create opportunity for high-performing schools to grow.

Additionally, PSP invests to catalyze collaboration, facilitating the sharing of best practices among schools and support organizations. Nonpartisan and data-driven, we work with government officials, business leaders, education leaders and practitioners, and community groups to pursue the promise of a great school for every child. PSP believes that in a city as large as Philadelphia, there is not one best or right kind of school. Two hundred forty thousand children need a wide variety of schools from which to choose. The city has numerous examples of high-performing schools, and they span all three primary sectors: charter schools, district schools and private/Catholic schools. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of quality options in all three sectors. More than 35,000 students sit on waiting lists for the city’s best schools—which include private, charter, district magnet, and district neighborhood schools. Our work centers on leveraging philanthropic capital to attract entrepreneurial leadership and overcome inertia and financial and political barriers so that Philadelphia can have more great schools.

Like all cities, Philadelphia has finite resources for K-12 education. PSP believes the route to effectively educating all of the city’s children lies in fomenting and sustaining an educational ecosystem that steers resources toward effective schools, regardless of sector or type of school, so they can grow; increases equity of access to all school choices for families; and utilizes multiple measures of school performance to hold schools accountable for outcomes, thus ensuring support
and—if necessary—intervention for struggling schools.

Position Summary
The Special Projects Manager will play a key role in supporting the Managing Director of Talent and Strategic Partnerships with achieving key cross-functional objectives and goals across the organization. He/she will help manage the organization’s talent investments and will be responsible for assessing the city’s needs for teachers and school leaders, evaluating investment opportunities to meet those needs, managing a portfolio of related grants and cultivating new grant opportunities.

The Special Projects Manager will also support policy initiatives across all PSP work streams including, but not limited to the launch of a common on-line application, roll out of a single-source data system. The Special Project Manager will be responsible for engaging stockholders in and maintaining communication during all projects and shifting priorities and keeping the Managing Director informed of developments. The Special Projects Manager will report to the Managing Director of Talent and Strategic Partnerships and will work closely with the GreatPhillySchools Team and the School Investment Team.

PSP is an equal-opportunity employer with good benefits and an entrepreneurial, results-oriented work culture.

Duties and Responsibilities
 Manage talent investments:
o Manage individual talent programs, like PhillyPLUS, to oversee program deliverables and that it is on track to meets grant requirements advising on principal placement throughout the city
o Lead thorough due diligence processes that include gathering and analyzing data, interviewing staff, assessing financial soundness, and identifying risks for new investments
o Deeply know the strengths and areas of focus for the portfolio of programs you manage
o Provide research and feedback from the field, from PSP portfolio schools and among participants in PSP talent initiatives to inform and tailor investment strategy to best meet desired student achievement outcomes and cultivate new grant opportunities
 Manage special projects as assigned, including:
o Collaborate with GreatPhillySchools team to support the design and roll out a single portal for families to use to enroll in Philadelphia charter schools
o Synthesize feedback from key partners including the School District of Philadelphia, The Archdiocese and Charter school leaders to inform our investment strategy
 Other projects and duties as assigned:
o Project manage and monitor other projects as assigned, keeping the Managing Director informed of developments

 Proven project management experience (organized, attention to detail)
 Ability to independently lead groups and work collaboratively across teams to achieve desired results
 Demonstrated ability to take initiative and drive process through to project outcomes
 Demonstrated willingness and desire to participate in unexpected projects and to be flexible
 Ability to ‘manage up’ and communicate effectively at all levels of an organization to get things done
 Ability to establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with external and internal partners and as part of a team
 Confidence working under pressure of deadlines and changing situations
 Commitment to K-12 education reform
 Ability to communicate clearly, negotiate, listen, mitigate conflict and build alliances; comfortable representing the organization in meetings and larger venues

Education and Experience
 Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree strongly preferred
 Minimum of 3 years of professional experience
 Demonstrated project management experience
 Experience in education a plus, but not required

Physical Requirements
Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required such as:
 Traveling to schools – valid driver’s license and/or access to transportation when necessary
 Functioning in office space – reaching file cabinets, filing, faxing, scanning, coping, typing, mailing, making phone calls
 Must be able to sit for up to two hours looking at a computer monitor, using a keyboard/mouse and typing

Application Instructions
Email resume and cover letter to Molly Farley, Human Resources Consultant, at
Salary commensurate with experience, along with excellent benefits.
A modest relocation package may also be available for out-of-state candidates.

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