Director of P-12 Policy, Research, and Practice

Education Trust-West

Director of P-12 Policy, Research, and Practice



The Organization

The Education Trust–West (ETW) works for the educational justice and the high academic achievement of all California students at all levels, pre–K through college. We expose opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color, English learners, and low-income students from their peers, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps. We work alongside schools, districts, and higher education institutions to understand and evaluate the effectiveness of reform strategies intended to reduce and eliminate achievement and opportunity gaps. We use lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analyses, to drive a state and national conversation about how our education systems can better serve all students. To learn more, please visit

The Position

The Director of P-12 Policy, Research, and Practice will lead the organization’s P-12 policy analysis and development, research and data analysis, and partnerships with practitioners in order to advance educational equity in California. The Director of P-12 will serve on the organization’s leadership team and will provide strategic guidance and direction to ETW’s P-12 policy, research, and practice staff, conceptualize and manage research projects, analyze policy, develop and advocate for policy solutions, cultivate partnerships and engagement opportunities with advocates and practitioners, and play a senior leadership role in designing new opportunities to keep ETW on the cutting edge of education research, data, policy, and practice. The Director of P-12 will play a key role in expanding the organization’s existing K-12 work to include connections to preschool and early learning opportunities. This position is ideally based in Oakland, but Sacramento will also be considered. This position reports to the Executive Director.

Essential Functions

Leadership and Management

  • Collaborate with the Executive Director to establish goals and priorities for Ed Trust–West P-12 policy, research, and practice efforts
  • Serve as a member of Ed Trust–West’s Leadership Team, working with other department leaders to craft the organization’s broad strategic direction and operational plans
  • Lead the P-12 Policy, Research, and Practice department, creating a cohesive vision and short-and long-term strategies for achieving that vision
  • Manage and support the ongoing professional development of 4-7 staff

P-12 Policy, Research, and Practice

  • Manage ETW’s P-12 policy portfolio, including using evidence to develop the organization’s positions and recommendations, writing letters, memos, blogs, and issue briefs, and partnering with other staff to advance recommendations through state and local advocacy
  • Manage ETW’s P-12 research projects, including designing studies, conducting and guiding both quantitative and qualitative research, and overseeing the writing and editing of research briefs, case studies, and reports
  • Develop and maintain relationships and partnerships with external researchers and research organizations
  • Conceptualize and oversee the development of data products, toolkits, and other resources to support advocates, practitioners, and policymakers
  • Cultivate relationships and manage partnerships with state agencies, school districts, county offices of education, and nonprofit education providers in order to support systemic efforts to close opportunities gaps and improve practice
  • Ensure that ETW is a trusted source of data, insight, and expertise on P-12 education policy and practice in California, with lens toward how these policies and practices often marginalize students of color, low-income students, and English learners—and how they might be redesigned to better advance equity
  • Collaborate with the other Ed Trust offices to coordinate research, policy, and practice activities across the broader organization
  • Present ETW’s P-12 work externally, and advance ETW’s perspectives and positions by participating in external meetings and events
  • Support the organization’s fundraising efforts, including cultivating funder relationships and writing grant proposals and reports.
  • Travel within California on a regular basis to represent Ed Trust–West in meetings and at events



  • A minimum of ten years of experience engaged in and leading work to advance educational equity and excellence
  • A track record of using research and data to advance policy or practice objectives
  • Deep familiarity with the California P-12 education policy landscape
  • Previous experience working in or with a school district, county offices of education, or education service provider
  • A track record of successful program management with tangible results
  • Ability to successfully navigate a complex political climate
  • Experience successfully advancing work through coalitions and cultivating partnerships
  • Ability to draft and deliver compelling written and verbal communication
  • Well-honed ability to execute and exhibit good judgment
  • Demonstrated experience managing and developing people


Personal Characteristics

  • Deep, relentless passion for improving the educational experiences and outcomes for low-income students, students of color, and English learners, and an unwavering belief that these students will be successful if institutions better served them
  • A commitment to racial justice and a knowledge of the root causes of inequities in our education systems
  • Strong interpersonal skills and facility in cultivating relationships
  • Creativity in solving problems and crafting solutions
  • Desire to innovate and think outside the box
  • Superb organizational and time-management skills
  • Professional maturity
  • Comfortably confronts and works through conflict, challenging the status quo



A Bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree is preferred.


Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.


Application Process

Please provide a cover letter, resume, and writing sample. Your cover letter should describe your relevant experience and your alignment with the organization’s mission. Priority deadline of January 7, 2019. Applications will still be accepted after this date.

Please combine your cover letter, resume, and writing sample into one document and upload that document. To begin the application process, click the link below:


The Education Trust-West is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status.