ORGANIZATION: Washington State Charter Schools Association
POSITION: Chief Executive Officer
LOCATION: Seattle, WA
REPORTS TO: Board of Directors
The Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters) is a new statewide nonprofit organization that supports the creation and proliferation of high-quality public charter schools. Created on the heels of the recently passed ballot initiative, the mission of WA
Charters is to advance educational options for underserved families in Washington State through quality public charter schools.
WA Charters is organized around the following core functions:
- Advocacy and Community Engagement: As the voice of charter schools throughout Washington, WA Charters guides and informs public policy, advocates for state and district policies that will help charter schools grow and flourish, and mobilizes parents and community members;
- Member Services: WA Charters provides guidance and services to charter schools to help them learn from experts and each other, solve problems, and achieve their aspirations;
- Leadership Center: WA Charters helps school leaders start up new charter schools across the state.
In addition, WA Charters will provide information about public charter schools to parents, educators, and community members and will also work with local school board members to share charter school authorizing best practices.
The League of Education Voters is helping to launch WA Charters, secure funding, and serve as the fiscal agent until the organization’s 501c3 status is finalized.
Additional information about WA Charters can be found at www.wacharters.org, www.facebook.com/WaCharters, and https://twitter.com/wa_charters.
The Washington State Charter Schools Association is seeking to hire an accomplished leader and visionary entrepreneur to serve as Chief Executive Officer. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will be responsible for creating a robust and powerful organization that will be a driving force in charter school growth and performance and advancing student achievement in the state. A core component of this work will be the growth of the Association as a Membership Organization, which provides critical services to the new sector.
The critical ingredient in establishing WA Charters as a model state charter association is the ability of the new CEO to establish solid, collaborative relationships with key stakeholders around the state and engage, energize, and educate the broader community to gain support for the charter movement. There is already support from a strong core of reformers in Washington who have worked tirelessly for several years to pass strong charter legislation. The National Association of Charter School Authorizers has ranked Washington State’s charter law as the 3rd strongest in the nation. The Washington law stipulates that charters are expected to serve as an innovative stimulus with statewide impact on student performance in all public schools. Ultimately, this legislation serves as a foundation for an environment where charter schools will proliferate and thrive.
Through developing and nurturing key relationships, the new CEO will be expected to execute on four strategic priorities that have been recently articulated by the WA Charters board. The core strategic priorities and their corresponding components are:
- Develop an organization that models best practices of other state charter associations;
- Ensure financial sustainability through a diverse funding stream;
- Build capacity in the WA Charter senior leadership team (the CFO and the four directors who are responsible for the following areas: leadership center, strategic partnerships, advocacy and legal, and services) to design and carry out innovative strategies that have substantial positive impact on the performance of Washington’s highest need students;
Advocacy and Community Engagement
- Charter cap and other restrictions removed;
- Funding mechanisms are charter friendly and fair;
- Schools authorized are of high quality;
- Engaging communities to meet the local needs.
- WA Charters is considered “gold standard” on legal interpretation;
- Grow the membership of the Association through mission critical services available to the charter sector, including school district partners, charter advocates, would-be charter school leaders and teams.
- Incubate 15 schools in five years that begin to close the achievement gap dramatically;
The CEO is responsible for the overall management of the organization and the execution of the four strategic priorities in partnership with various WA Charters stakeholders and with the support of the Board of Directors. The CEO will serve as “the face” of WA Charters by effectively representing the organization and the cause to key stakeholders and increasing visibility for WA Charters in the charter school community and broader education reform community. The CEO will report to a governing board of strong charter school advocates, representing the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. She or he will oversee a team of 5-10 staff members. Specifically, in the first year, the new CEO will be expected to:
· Put in place and lead the high-performing team necessary to carry out the work of WA Charters;
· Work with external consultants and the board to complete the organization’s strategic plan;
· Secure WA Charters 501c3 status (this process has already been started);
· Identify new sources of funding from foundations, corporations, and individual donors;
· Work in partnership with the board to develop relationships with key stakeholders across the state and nationally;
· In conjunction with the senior leadership team:
- Position WA Charters to serve as the uniting force around efforts to establish clear and favorable policy and legal guidelines for the development of innovative charter schools;
- Ensure that there is a plan in place to mobilize and train community members and parent leaders throughout the state to support charter schools in their communities;
- Develop service “packages” that support the development and launch of new charter schools in the state of Washington. Target areas for possible services include: authorization practices, charter school proposal development, charter board development, school launch planning, student and staff recruitment, and community engagement;
- Develop fee-based service packages that provide an income stream that supports some operating costs;
- 100% of the initial Leadership Center Fellows have received authorization for their charter from a Washington authorization agency;
- Launch the second cohort of Leadership Center Follows that includes national recruits.
Qualities & Qualifications
This is an outstanding opportunity to play an integral role in public education reform in Washington State. Therefore, first and foremost, the CEO must passionately believe that charter schools have the power to help transform public education.
Additionally, candidates for the position must bring experience in the following areas:
- At least 10 years of work experience including a track record of leadership, ideally in an entrepreneurial, start-up and/or high growth organization;
- A professional background comprised of credentials and experiences that will validate their stated understanding of charter schools;
- Specific and substantial management experience in at least two of the following functions: legislative policy and advocacy, engaging communities of color, fundraising and marketing;
- Substantial experience working directly with a Board of Directors (or comparable supervisory entity);
- A track record of leading, motivating and developing high performing teams;
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited, four-year university.
Next, candidates for the position must have the following skills:
- Political and media experience, interpersonal skills, and instincts sharp enough to spot issues in advance and navigate state politics (including both its supporters and opponents);
- Excellent grassroots skills, including the ability to convey ideas and positions to numerous audiences including elected officials, corporate and district leaders, funders, principals, community groups, teachers, students, and parents;
- The ability to identify new sources of funding from foundations, corporations, investors, and/or individual donors, and the skills required to secure these resources through relationship building;
- Superb writing skills;
- Financial management and budget experience.
Finally, candidates for the position must possess the following personal characteristics:
- The executive presence to inspire confidence and passion both internally and externally and the requisite persistence and zeal to lead a mission-driven organization toward ambitious goals;
- The gravitas and sophistication required to be the public face of WA Charters and the eloquence and persuasiveness (both oral and written) required to serve as a spokesperson for charter schools to a wide variety of audiences;
- The maturity and wisdom required to optimize Board members;
- A level of energy and a dynamic nature compelling enough to bring divergent groups together in a collaborative fashion and inspire them to act.
DESIRED PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL QUALIFICATIONS
The ideal candidate will also possess some combination of the following professional and personal characteristics:
- An understanding of issues and challenges facing the charter school movement nationally, particularly in states that lack broad support;
- Experience within and/or knowledge of the national charter school landscape; and
- An advanced degree.
If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a resume and thoughtful cover letter via our website: http://searches.k12searchgroup.com/.