Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) is accountable for providing leadership, strategy, and tactical direction to fulfill the organization’s mission of narrowing the achievement gap and improving public education in Connecticut. This role for a dynamic and energetic leader involves policy development and advocacy, organizational management, team leadership, and a combination of collaborative, individual, and public-facing tasks.
The Executive Director works closely with the Board of Directors to monitor the local education landscape, and to evaluate and expand programs that advance CCER’s strategic goals. Specifically, the Executive Director:
- Develops and advocates for policy and research so that the CCER Board and staff can push for meaningful initiatives to narrow gaps in achievement and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut.
- Oversees evolving initiatives to help education leaders implement meaningful change at the district- and school-levels.
- Increases CCER’s visibility and influence among legislators, educators, state officials, community members, the media, and strategic partners.
- Ensures that legislators, educators, and the public have a clear sense of the challenges presented by the achievement gap, the need for improvement, and CCER’s work.
- Serves as CCER’s spokesperson and figurehead.
- Builds long-lasting relationships with other stakeholders and coalitions that advance CCER’s goals.
- Attracts, manages, and develops a team of talented professionals committed to CCER’s mission.
- Actively engages CCER’s Board of Directors—developing a collaborative relationship that leverages their passion, network, and skills.
- Works to garner support among membership of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) and the Connecticut business community at large.
- Oversees CCER’s finances and assets, and participates in the budgetary process.
- Works with the Board of Directors and staff to identify and secure new fundraising opportunities.
The ideal candidate:
- Has strong ideals, integrity, and a passion for CCER’s mission.
- Is a strategic thinker and visionary.
- Has expertise in reform and advocacy, ideally—but not necessarily—in the education space.
- Understands the political and legislative process.
- Has the reputation and credibility to command respect among high-level executives, the CCER staff, and external stakeholders.
- Has 5+ years of executive experience, or 5+ years of experience in K-12 leadership positions.
- Has experience with the strategic growth of an evolving organization.
- Can demonstrate experience managing a small staff, building a team culture, delegating and prioritizing tasks, and effectively working towards a collective set of goals.
- Displays strong interpersonal skills, with the capacity to build external partnerships and collaborate with other stakeholders.
- Responds to changing demands with sound, nimble decision-making ability.
- Has experience as a spokesperson or figurehead.
- Has strong written, verbal, and public speaking skills.
- Has competencies in fundraising and willingness to engage in development activities.
- Understands nonprofit operations and management.
- Is willing to travel regularly across Connecticut, and occasionally throughout the Northeast.
CCER’s headquarters are located in the Connecticut Business & Industry offices, in Hartford, CT.
The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) is a statewide 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that works to narrow Connecticut’s achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut. The achievement gap is the disparity in academic achievement between children from low-income families, children of color, and their peers. We advance our mission by: (1) advocating for state-level policies designed to narrow gaps in achievement; (2) building statewide capacity to implement meaningful and sustainable improvement; and (3) increasing public awareness about the need for improvement.
CCER is an affiliate of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA)—the voice of business in Connecticut, with thousands of member companies championing change and fighting for a better future. In addition, CCER’s own Board of Directors is comprised of prominent business and civic leaders who believe in a moral and economic imperative to improve the state’s public schools. These committed leaders are the guiding force for the organization’s fulfillment of its mission.
Policy Advocacy: CCER advocates for state-level policy solutions to narrow gaps in achievement and improve public education. Our advocacy efforts generally have fit into 6 broad categories of commonsense, business-oriented solutions:
- Demand accountability: Strengthen school, district, and state leadership; and drive accountability for educational change.
- High expectations: Raise expectations, and help all students meet them.
- Foster leadership: Attract, develop, and empower the most effective leaders for our schools.
- Excellent teaching: Prepare, support, and retain excellent teachers, especially of low-income students.
- Invest intelligently: Establish an effective, transparent, and equitable way of funding public education.
- Turn around schools: Improve the lowest-achieving schools through greater authority, accountability, and time for learning.
Capacity Building: Closing gaps in achievement requires strong, knowledgeable leaders and highly effective teachers. We provide forums, resources, and professional development to help build capacity statewide.
- 2 annual conferences highlighting research-based practices for school improvement
- Research and tools to support school improvement (e.g. Literarcyscan.org and schooldatasystems.org)
- Leadership development opportunities (e.g. 2018-19 Literacy Leadership Institute)
Public Awareness: CCER has become a trusted source of information for reporters and legislators, and has a widely read blog and e-blast with approximately 7,500 subscribers. We use our public platforms, including numerous op-ed pieces and media appearances to raise awareness about the need to improve public education, and to advance our capacity-building and advocacy initiatives.
How to Apply
To apply for this position, please submit a cover letter and resume/C.V. to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “Executive Director Position”.
CCER is an Equal Opportunity Employer.