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[xmca] R U An improvement specialist? Here's the job for u!

Improvement Specialist The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of
Teaching Position Type: Full-time Location(s):
Stanford, California (United States)
Description: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an
operating foundation located in Stanford, California. Chartered in 1906, the
Foundation has carried out a wide range of activities and research to
support and advance the work of educators at all levels. The Foundation is
currently undergoing a significant transition in its program of work. The
new focus seeks to pioneer a radically different model of educational
research and development capable of advancing improvements in student
learning at scale.

The Foundation is engaged in a deep and long-term exploration of the
application of the tenets, tools, and methods of improvement research to
develop a science of performance improvement in education. The idea is to
establish a “third way” to think of education research. The methodological
richness and rigor of translational research requires controls and
restrictions that limit its capacity to address real problems of practice in
their contextual complexity and in ways that support improvement.
Participant / practitioner research offers compelling immediacy and profound
impact that unfortunately remains limited in its breadth of influence and
therefore limits its contribution. The proposed “third way” partakes of each
of these traditions and brings to bear an emerging science of improvement
research to work on high leverage problems of practice in ways that produces
knowledge that drives improvement -- ultimately at system-wide scale.

Structurally, this is addressed by establishing a number of Networked
Improvement Communities (NIC), each comprised of practitioner researchers,
scholar researchers as thinking partners, as well as facilitators and
technical supports of various kinds. Each NIC works on a high leverage
problem of practice and its membership and activities are defined as is
appropriate to that problem. All of the NICs, however, are supported by a
number of resources including Improvement Specialists.

Improvement that is deep, widespread, and long-lasting requires the focused
and sustained efforts of many. Every bit as important, however, is the
steady guidance of a facilitative leader in the design and execution of
improvement efforts within the organization. The Improvement Specialist
works with Carnegie partners to engage in such efforts while developing that
capacity in the partners’ organizations.

The Improvement Specialist will report to the Senior Partner for Design,
Development, and Research, and will be expected to:

• Facilitate the ongoing development and implementation of improvement
efforts in the Networked Improvement Communities sponsored by the

• Lead the development of the short- and long-term improvement projects.

• Work with NIC members to identify high leverage problems whose solutions
would significantly enhance performance, deliver results, and promote
improvement throughout the organization.

• Identify, adapt, and apply appropriate tools from the improvement
sciences, including, but not limited to 90 day inquiry cycles; driver and
improvement diagrams; plan-do-study-act cycles; affinity, cause and effect,
and matrix diagrams; evidence-based testing and refinement of problem
solutions; systems analysis and intervention tools; and exploratory data

• Designs, conducts, and facilitates effective group processes to ensure the
uptake and use of the results of research and inquiry efforts.

• Oversee project management aspects of improvement projects as assigned
(e.g., facilitating information flow, etc.).

• Supervise Hub interns’ and graduate student researchers’ day-to-day work,
ensure that they have access to professional development opportunities
related to both the process and substance of the work, direct supporting
inquiry and development work, and facilitate interaction with NIC partners
and Carnegie staff in other Units.

• Participate in cross-unit teams within the Foundation to enhance its
operation, performance, and culture as a learning organization.

• Other research projects or tasks as they develop.
 Job Function: Education/Teaching, Research Job Duration: indefinite, but
dependent on project needs/funding Approximate Hours Per Week: 40 hrs/wk,
M-F Salary Level: competitive Qualification: Education & Experience:
• Masters degree or higher in education or related field with emphasis on
inquiry and research
• 3 – 5 years experience in program development, management, assessment, or
improvement in education or a related field
• Knowledge of and experience in the application of the tools of improvement
sciences, including Demming, Senge, Shewhart, and others
• Training, background, or experience in project planning
• Background in project implementation, monitoring, and refinement
• Effective in the role of facilitative coach or advisor
• Ability to think flexibly about the use of tools of inquiry.
• Demonstrated ability to use a range of basic statistical analysis skills
(e.g., exploratory data analysis, descriptive and inferential statistics,
• Collaborative orientation and flexibility, as well as the ability to be
proactive in decision making and carrying out work.
• Strong organizational abilities, problem-solving skills, attention to
detail, and ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills, and comfortable
communicating one-on-one or in groups of both internal and external
• Accomplished in data use and relevant analyses to support organizational
decision making
• Ability to work effectively with a variety of constituents and partners in
development and inquiry efforts
• Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and willing to cope with and
embrace change.
• Very comfortable with ambiguity and able to juggle the demands of a busy,
frequently changing plan of work in a professional manner, while exhibiting
sound judgment about priorities and workscope.
• Ability to travel (approximately 3 – 5 days per month).
• Interest in and commitment to the mission of the Carnegie Foundation for
the Advancement of Teaching
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