STEP Español Senior Research & Development and Professional Learning Manager

  • Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
  • STEP

Research continues to show that a majority of America's schools fail to prepare students of color and students from low- income families to succeed in college and beyond. Many view these problems as intractable. UChicago Impact does not.

Launched in 2011 as a not-for-profit organization, UChicago Impact is one of four units that comprise the University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute (UEI). The other units include: the UChicago Charter School, the UChicago Consortium on School Research and the Urban Teacher Education Program (UTEP).

UChicago Impact culls knowledge and learning from across these units to create scalable evidence-based tools and supports designed to improve schooling nationwide. UChicago Impact stands apart from others in the market for the following reasons:

  • It is embedded in The University of Chicago
  • Its work is grounded in rigorous research
  • It establishes long-term partnerships with schools and districts.
  • Its partners achieve results

UChicago Impact currently has partners and clients in more than 60 cities and 35 states — including some of the highest performing school systems and charter management organizations nationwide (e.g., KIPP, Uncommon Schools, Achievement First).

Role Description

Reporting to the Co-CEO, the STEP Español Senior Research & Development and Professional Learning Manager will provide strategic support in the development, testing, administration, and coaching of staff at schools using the Spanish STEP Literacy Assessment system. The STEP Español Senior Research & Development and Professional Learning Manager will play an integral role in overseeing the R&D work related to Spanish STEP, including but not limited to facilitating focus groups, managing pilot site-relationships, developing professional learning supports, and ensuring the assessment is implemented reliably, rigorously, and to its fullest potential. The Spanish STEP formative literacy assessment is structured around the use of narrative and nonfiction text and the resultant data inform literacy instruction. The STEP Español Senior Research & Development and Professional Learning Manager will provide data-driven literacy coaching and professional development sessions focused on developing teacher capacity in instructional planning, comprehension strategies, and vocabular/language development. Modeling how to perform and/or co-planning for any of the previously noted areas of support are also regular work-related activities.

This position will provide strategic support in the administration, implementation and coaching of staff of schools using the STEP Literacy Assessment system. The Manager of Professional Learning will play an integral role in ensuring that STEP is implemented reliably, rigorously, and to its fullest potential. The Manager of Professional Learning will provide data-driven literacy coaching, focused on increasing teacher knowledge and student performance. Coaching will predominantly focus on small group differentiated reading practices. The Manager of Professional Learning will also provide professional development sessions focused on developing teacher capacity in instructional planning, word solving, comprehension strategies, and language development. Modeling how to perform and/or co-planning for any of the previously noted areas of support are also regular work-related activities.

Clients are located in various cities around the country. As such, travel is a required and regular part of this job role. The Senior STEP Español R&D and Professional Learning Manager should anticipate travel/work out of state account for up to 20% of his/her time on an annual basis. For example, 2 work trips of 2-3 days at a time per month is common.

Other typical work-related activities will include:

  • Conduct regular updates with STEP school leaders and STEP colleagues 
          o Write progress reports related to the previous topic
  • Maintain current knowledge of trends in curricula, instruction, and assessment
  • Communicate with supervisor regarding implementation strengths and challenges and resolve said problems by working with department staff 
  • Collaborate with the Assistant Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy, CoCEO and/or STEP Partnerships and Growth team to inform communication, marketing and/or other outreach efforts related to STEP Español

Qualified candidates must have:

  • A Master's degree in education or a related field
  • A passion for supporting schools in their work to continuously improve student outcomes
  • A minimum 7 years elementary (K-3) teaching experience and at least 7 years experience coaching teachers (K-3) or the equivalent combination of above noted education and experience
  • Strong knowledge of essential research in elementary literacy (i.e. balanced literacy)
  • Professional development creation and facilitation
  • DL/EL experience
  • Deep knowledge of STEP Literacy Assessment
  • Fluency in a second language (Spanish)
  • Experience with data driven instruction coaching
  • Proficiency with PCs and basic software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

Preferred skills include:

  • Reading Specialist certification
  • Charter Management Organization work experience
  • Knowledge of adult learning

UChicago Impact employees enjoy opportunities for personal growth and advancement, rewarding work in a people- oriented environment, an organizational culture that values work/life balance, and commitment to a diverse workforce and an environment of inclusion.

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