Pennsylvania Policy Manager

Pennsylvania Policy Manager

(Remote in Pennsylvania; Harrisburg, PA, preferred)

What We Do

Teach Plus is a national nonprofit whose mission is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that advance equity, opportunity, and student access. The Teach Plus team exists to breathe life into the Student Opportunity Mandate: All students should have the opportunity to achieve their potential in an education system defined by its commitment to equity, responsiveness to individual needs, and ability to prepare students for postsecondary success. At the heart of our work is advocacy for collective impact, beginning with classroom teachers.

At Teach Plus, we believe in equity-driven teacher leadership. When we invest in developing our most talented teachers into teacher leaders who are well-informed, persuasive, and prepared to lead, they have deep leverage in advancing equity for students, especially for students of color, low-income students, and those from underserved communities. To close the opportunity gap and to ensure equitable access to a world-class education for all students in the schools and communities we serve, we ignite systems change at multiple levels through our Policy Fellowship and Instructional Leadership programs designed to inspire and equip teachers. We are committed to leading change in our Equity Focus Areas.

What You’ll Do

Reporting to the Pennsylvania Executive Director, you will manage the PA Policy Fellowship and Statewide Teacher Network, which prepare high-potential, highly-effective teachers to become leaders of their peers and trusted partners for decision-makers and media. You will support teachers in deepening their knowledge of education policy as well as their development as equity advocates and leaders. As a credible broker between teachers and policymakers, you will leverage partnerships to lay the groundwork for teacher voice and create opportunities for teacher leaders to influence critical issues. You will also support other teacher policy work across the state, plan programming for and continue to expand the Statewide Teacher Network, represent Teach Plus in coalitions we participate in and lead, and build partnerships and relationships in Pennsylvania. The Policy Manager will be responsible for the following:

Program Management

The Policy Manager will develop the skills of policy fellows, senior policy fellows, network teachers, and alumni across Pennsylvania to engage in policy and advocacy discussion and create a broad community of excellent and effective teachers to bring teacher voice to influence national, state, and district policies through:

  • Managing the Pennsylvania Policy Fellowship, including by designing and delivering program content and coordinating logistics of monthly training sessions and twice-yearly retreats (including assigned readings, lectures, guest speakers, group discussions, and project management of working groups).
  • Overseeing and supporting 10-12 senior fellows to manage and facilitate working groups of fellows in developing and implementing policy advocacy and impact efforts.
  • Managing 4-5 working groups of 4-6 policy fellows each. Managing working groups includes developing expertise on the working group topic, providing strategy policy advice and feedback, participating in relevant coalitions and developing partnerships with other advocacy groups working on the same issue, supervising the senior fellow(s) responsible for that working group and supporting their facilitation and project management, supporting and editing any research projects and policy reports for the working group, and supporting the group in planning for and achieving policy impact.
  • Each working group meets at least once per month outside of the monthly session, usually in the evening.
  • Leading the fellow and senior fellow recruitment and selection process to ensure a high-quality and diverse applicant pool for Policy Fellowships, including targeted outreach activities through multiple media across the state, in-person and virtual presentations, webinars, etc.
  • Taking the lead role in planning at least one Capitol Day per year, in which fellows (with the possible addition of alumni, network teachers, and coalition partners) gather in Harrisburg to meet with elected officials, share materials on their policy goals, and hold a public event such as a press conference or rally to elevate their policy goals.
  • Conducting internal evaluations and surveys that track the progress and impact of our policy programs, maintaining accurate and timely data in the Salesforce database for ongoing accountability reports, and providing updated content for the PA pages of the website.
  • Managing the PA Statewide Teacher Network, including planning, promoting, and facilitating monthly network events (in-person and virtual) that help advance Teach Plus PA’s strategic goals and engage a larger network of teachers in advocacy, research, learning, and development. Actively promoting and growing the network through strategic co-hosting of events, advertising of the network, and other creative marketing strategies.

Ongoing Teacher Leader Support

  • Coaching and developing policy fellows as change agents and equity advocates, ensuring they are equipped to understand and make the case for change, design and implement plans for change, work to dismantle barriers to equity, and facilitate conversations that influence stakeholders and advance equity.
  • Planning and facilitating senior fellow meetings and meeting monthly with each senior fellow to support the continuous growth in supporting and developing policy fellows, planning for working group meetings, debriefing previous meetings, and engaging in culturally proficient leadership coaching and feedback.

Policy & Outreach

The Policy Manager will collaborate with the Pennsylvania Executive Director on Teach Plus Pennsylvania policy strategy and leverage relationships that enable teachers to have an impact on critical policy issues by:

  • Proactively building and maintaining relationships with policymakers, district leaders, education organizations, journalists, and other key power brokers in Harrisburg and across the state; strategically spotting and seizing opportunities to build your personal network in a way that furthers Teach Plus’ goals and positions you as a go-to for policymakers and others.
  • Demonstrating credibility and agency as a policy leader in order to both build Teach Plus PA’s profile and influence as well as to open doors for our teachers to have impact and authentic audiences for their stories and policy recommendations. This will involve proactively identifying policy issues you need to build expertise on and proactively pursuing learning on these issues in a self-directed way by seeking out reports, experts, and other resources; playing an active role within our coalitions; staying up-to-date on political updates and progress on relevant bills and committees; writing and speaking about policy issues publicly (at press conferences, in op-eds, in reports, in testimony, etc.) that will lead to opportunities for yourself and teachers; and regularly sharing updates on key policy issues with our fellows to inform their campaign strategies and tactics.
  • Utilizing deep knowledge and understanding of the political landscape and process to proactively identify windows of opportunity for policy change and support fellows in developing effective strategy and tactics for achieving policy goals.
  • Developing strong relationships with Teach Plus Policy Fellows and Senior Fellows, serving as their talent agent, providing them with opportunities to lead and advocate for equity on behalf of their students locally and in the Capitol and be recognized for their excellence through awards and other honors.
  • Training and coaching teachers to be advocates and community organizers on issues of importance to their students and providing them with the tools and support to be successful as they conduct advocacy efforts to enact policy change, including providing strategic policy advice, research, training, and input to teachers as they write op-eds, meet with policymakers, testify, and participate in community organizing efforts at the local, state, and national levels.
  • Collaborating with national staff to engage teachers in national/federal advocacy work.
Who You Are

Ideal Qualifications, Expertise, and Past Experience:

  • Experience and successful track record in policy, government relations, advocacy, and/or community organizing, preferably with specific experience related to education policy or advocacy.
  • Expertise in one or more of the following education policy issues is preferred but not required: early childhood education, recruitment and retention of teachers of color, school finance and equitable education funding, teacher preparation, and early literacy.
  • Experience with designing and facilitating high-quality, interactive adult learning with a focus on building practical knowledge, skills, and dispositions in an experiential and application-focused way.
  • Previous teaching experience and/or participation in the PA Policy Fellowship is a significant plus but not required.
  • Prior experience working with or within the Pennsylvania General Assembly or Pennsylvania
  • Department of Education is a significant plus but not required.

Ideal Skills:

  • Excellent communication skills, including writing, editing, and public speaking; attention to clarity and precision in communications with a focus on not only the “what” but the “how” and “why;” high levels of responsiveness via email and other forms of communications. Frequent and proactive communication with the Executive Director, colleagues, fellows, and external partners is an absolute must in this role.
  • Ability to learn quickly, organize/synthesize high volumes of information, and work in a fast-paced and sometimes unpredictable environment.
  • Excellent relationship-building skills and emotional intelligence.
  • Excellent strategic planning skills, including long-term and backwards planning based on high-leverage impact goals, strong attention to detail and logistics, ability to facilitate group planning, ability to plan for multiple events and projects simultaneously and far-in-advance without high levels of oversight, and ability to monitor progress and proactively course-correct when needed.
  • Impeccable organizational and project management skills, including ability to manage multiple priorities and projects simultaneously, prioritize tasks and manage your time strategically and independently, complete tasks in a timely and independent manner, create structures and communications systems for team/collaborative projects (including clear ownership of tasks and plans for follow-through), and frequently/proactively communicate progress and needs on assigned projects. Our team uses Asana for project and task management.

Ideal Dispositions:

  • A passion for the mission of Teach Plus and dedication to advancing equity, opportunity, and outcomes for students at all times.
  • Curiosity and a willingness to engage in constant inquiry and on-the-job learning to expand your own impact as well as that of Teach Plus PA as a whole.
  • Proactivity and initiative to pursue the learning, opportunities and actions that will support your effectiveness in the role without passively waiting for them to come to you.
  • A growth mindset for yourself and others; an eagerness to seek out and act on feedback to continuously improve (as well as a willingness to provide meaningful constructive feedback to others).
  • A commitment to excellence in your own work and willingness to model the behaviors and dispositions we expect from fellows yourself.
Commitment to Diversity

To better serve the teachers and students at the core of our mission, Teach Plus is committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization. We are an equal-opportunity employer and encourage individuals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities to apply to our positions.

Compensation and Benefits

The compensation range for this position is between $80,000 and $95,000, and salary will be determined based on the selected candidate’s specific qualifications, years of relevant experience, specialized knowledge, and internal equity. Teach Plus offers a benefits package including medical, dental, and vision insurance, 3% matching 401k plan, disability and life insurance, and Flexible Spending Accounts for medical and childcare expenses. Teach Plus offers generous time off benefits, including 15 vacation days, 3 personal days, 5 sick days, 11 holidays, and winter break. Additionally, Teach Plus offers paid parental leave and a 4-week paid sabbatical for every five years of service.

Location, Travel, and Hours

Although this remote position will be conducted virtually (primarily from a home office), candidates must reside in Pennsylvania. Residency in or near Harrisburg is preferred; candidates must be willing to travel up to 25% to Harrisburg, with periodic travel to other parts of Pennsylvania, such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. This role requires some nights and weekends (approximately 4-8 evenings per month and 2-3 weekends per year) to support policy sessions and meet with teachers and policymakers. The ideal start date is July 8, 2024.

How to Apply

To apply, please complete the online application found here. The application requires you to upload a resume and cover letter. The cover letter should explain your interest in the position and describe relevant qualifications and experience. Teach Plus will receive applications until the position is filled.

Application Link: